Yet another great link from Johnnie that triggers something. No straight lines
I enjoyed Alan Moore's slideshare from Reboot Britain, No Straight Lines. It's worth taking a good look.Its not just the lack of linearity that we need to accept, its the lack of sequence. Also not wanting to screw up the joke.
Al kicks off with a very funny story about a train journey and an iPod that I won't spoil by summarising. And goes into a passionate diatribe against the limits of linear thinking.
But we almost never learn anything in a stepwise, linear fashion. We grab bits of it passing by, and fiddle with our understanding of them, and sometimes for a long time we "just don't get it" because even when we have all the bits they are like a jigsaw puzzle in a bag, the picture is there but we can't 'see" it.
And some people never do. Especially, paradoxically, those who are best at stuff like computer programming where sequence and excruciating detail is critical. Then one day, apparently without any relevant input, we "get" it.
And I suspect that is where, god help me, real innovation occurs. Someone has most of the bits, but can't make them fit so they create a bit, a new bit that didn't exist before but which connects the thing in an entirely different way
And because the world is NOT a jigsaw puzzle, what happens is that the new bit makes all the old bits fit together in different ways as well. Which is why change can be so disorienting.
We recognise that many of the old bits are there but they are somehow distorted in ways we don't understand. So the response of those who were comfortable with the old ways things worked try to pretend that the old bits still work in the old ways, that its just their perception that is wonky; because to accept that the whole world is wonky is just too much of a challenge.
We are, in effect, betrayed by the proximity to familiarity that wouldn't happen if we, say, suddenly moved to Tanzania and had to learn Swahili to survive. When we shift our entire domain we recognise its foreignness, but when that shift happens around us it takes time to adjust to that suspiciously familiar but actually completely different reality.
That seems to me the problem with peak Oil, with Climate change, with the end of western financial capitalism, it all still LOOKS the same, or closely enough to fool us into believing that we don't have to change anything to deal with the problem.
And one more point about non-linearity, it entails outputs that are grossly inconsistent with the inputs and apparently disconnected from them.