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Incoming idea, look out!
In this trillion-piece machine we call Civilization, the click and buzz and slosh back and forth of rhythms play out, business as usual. It was not always this way; the pieces of civilization started from zero; more and more added piece by piece, until it is huge and complex as now.
Civilization grew, idea by idea, and the ideas worked the hand of mankind upon stone and wood and water and on living things, ever growing, idea by idea. Each incoming idea fell upon the ongoing waves and ripples in civilization as it found, each fell sometimes like a cool raindrop onto a thirsty leaf, others fell like a fiery meteor from outer space. Whatever, the impact of the new idea made new waves, new ripples, at first upsetting then settling in to the new norm of everyday slosh.
The process of adding to civilization continues, building it up more as before. But each new idea that plops into the slurry of busy civilization is not often welcome, disruptive to the routine that was before. Some people decide to defend against new ideas that might be headed their way, instead of needing to cope with the disruption and new norm that might have resulted. Depending on just where the incoming new idea plunks into, here are some of the observed forms of blocking waves spreading from the plopped idea, cutting the idea off at the source
1) If someone below my hierarchical status does something "better than" me even once, my boss may fire me and give the job to that wiseguy underling. Therefore, if an underling proclaims a clearly better idea than I do, the purpose is to humiliate me; response therefore is to fight back at the underling, keep my position by destroying the idea or insinuating it was mine all along. Everyone knows the hierarchical system must be honored totally, one break in the structure and all will be at risk.
2) Only highly educated people are capable of creating useable wide-implication new conceptual designs, and are well rewarded for that capability. Therefore, someone not highly degreed but claiming to create such concepts, must be lying, or else the idea is defective and won't work. In either case, ignore the person that is out of line, he/she will starve eventually and vanish as if never existed if unrewarded; the idea will then freely be for all of us to use as we see fit, part of the knowledge base of our education, our right to high position, and thus all will remain well.
3) An idea for a radically new kind of space access transportation and application conceivably could have military uses, therefore the idea surely is classified and the guy telling of it must be a spy. Therefore correct response would be to stifle the guy's efforts to communicate the idea (since it obviously must have been classified), constantly block the guy's efforts at everything and particularly don't let people intimately talk with him such as a girlfriend might do; and conduct a widely advertised search to locate the security leak source where that spy stole the idea.
4) Business income is my source of survival. The conduct of business is as clean and merciless as the rules of football game playing, and so my survival requires I be equally and cooly merciless toward anything which might compete with my business. Therefore, someone coming in with a better idea than that which my business is founded upon, must be mercilessly and coldly treated, quietly grabbing or destroying that other idea and its originator, so my business and life will remain fine.
5) In school I did not care who originally came up with each of the bits of knowledge which I learned there; I got the knowledge and it all is mine to use to get what I need. Therefore, equally I don't care who comes up with a "new" idea, a bit of knowledge, it is mine to use freely to do what I want, nothing whatever owed to the "originator" of that so-called new item. Anyway, ideas just come out of thin air, thus are worth nothing.
6) Ideas make new things possible and thus they must be controlled. If I own a corporation, I can specify what ideas can be worked on, none else permitted on the job. If I additionally require each employee to sign an "employment agreement" handing over all ideas the employee ever has to me, and yet requiring me to do nothing with them, I can ditch all the other ideas all those employees might have. Since nearly everyone must work for some corporation to pay bills, and if all corporations do this same idea suppression thing, there will be no new ideas created except those we owners choose, and all will be in our plushly rewarded control forever.
Civilization grew, idea by idea, and the ideas worked the hand of mankind upon stone and wood and water and on living things, ever growing, idea by idea. Yet it is said that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Given knowledge of how to most voraciously devour the resources of our home planet, excreting the materials as unusable entropied wastes. Are there none to be found responsible enough? While we yet have the energy to create the radical space access systems to enable us to reach for vast solar power far above the atmosphere and above earth's shadow, up where the entropied wastes of civilization can be totally recycled back to newness using solar power, hard vacuum, and zero-g up there in GEO orbit, instead we persist in smug power games to show who is better than who. Is the hand of man on the stone, now instead chiseling mankind's tombstone; and the mad race to "win" be run in the tracks of the Lemmings?
An Excalator Hi page titled IiLo by J E D Cline started on Saturday, April 5, 2008 3:32:56 PM US/Pacific
Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.