Friday, June 08, 2007

Embracing New Ideas

The greatest problem we have in Hawaii is one: that of accepting, or even allowing to be heard, new ideas, let alone embracing them. Because our education, indoctrination, socialization is to reject and resist new ideas -- in our training (conditioning) to be bureaucrats , rather than innovators and artists in work and life.

So the first impulse is always to want suppress new ideas -- in favor of repeating the old ideas, and because they do not work satisfactorily, persisting that simply more effort, time and money, is the only course of action henceforth -- rather than in being able to break away and rethink the problem wholly new and differently.

People who do this regularly call it brainstorming for new ideas -- which to the bureaucratic minds, mean hearing only the old ideas in different words -- and arriving at the inevitable conclusion, that the only things needed, are more time, effort and MONEY. This predisposition to the same old ideas is abetted by the overrepresentation of lawyers in government.

Law is a discipline based on precedent: that is to say, that ideas are right based on a previous right idea -- and there cannot be a right idea that has no precedent, which is the truly new. In such cases, that manner of thinking is entirely untrained to deal with such new realities. That is also the problem of bureaucrats and unionists -- who value and defend the old ways of doing things as a “right” in itself, and that those who have been doing things that way the longest, are to be the most highly valued.

Even the media, schools and universities, which one would think would be among the first of the institutions to accept new ideas are instead resistive to anything but their own ideas, which are the old ideas -- and they are among the most resistive to hearing and learning new ideas, because that would immediately not give them a great advantage in knowing the new ideas as they have in knowing the old ideas -- and maintaining that advantage, is the premise of what gives them value in society.

So innovation and creativity in society and the workplace, is an art (skill) that has to be cultivated and learned -- for the betterment of all, and not just as a competitive advantage for one -- because that is what innovation does: it lifts on boats, and levels the playing field -- which is not to the liking of the old socioeconomic hierarchies and personalities, and so they feel vested in keeping and defending the old status quo, which places them at the top.

It is only a relative top however, because the top persons in such a society are not as free, independent and well-off as the average person in a dynamic, innovative society producing greater accessibility and equality to the total wealth of that society (world) for all its citizens. That is the mark of a modern civilization/society over a traditional one, which spends most of its time, effort and resources, to maintain the pecking order (social hierarchy), and that is why the peculiarity of “democracy” in Hawaii, is to perpetuate the traditional status quo and socioeconomic hierarchies as though that were an inviolable and unquestionable right in itself, for all time.

5 Comments:

At June 08, 2007 6:51 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

One sees this pattern of resistance to new ideas in all the forums of participation -- where ostensibly they "want to hear from the people," but really, they want the people to hear only what they have to say as the only way they must think of solving the age-old problems that keep getting worse: they'll need even more time, effort and MONEY.

That's all we ever hear, and why fewer and fewer show up for those "open" meetings which is the "hallmark" of that "democracy."

Democracy is not just the right and the power of the majority to impose its will on everybody else, but rather, the right to hear all the options equally freely in order to arrive at a best solution -- and not just the ONLY solution as proffered by the powers that be, who wish to remain so.

 
At June 08, 2007 9:06 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

When people are resistant to learning (the new), it is very good for job security as a teacher -- because there are always people to teach -- who don't want to learn. That is the familiar problem of education -- requiring teachers to be even more "skilled" rather than moving that function down to lower levels of expertise as the students know how to learn on their own.

The best model for this are the computer labs in which there is an advantage of not knowing too much -- so as to be closer to the student's level of understanding.

When the beginning student asks, "How does this computer work?", he's not asking for a dissertation on the history of computers and the future of supercomputers, but merely wants to know, "Which button do I push to make it go?"

Answering the former question from the professional's point of view is not more valuable than simple knowing the latter -- which is what the student wants to know.

Learning in today's world is mostly this learning on one's own -- as they need to and are highly-motivated, rather than the old mass model of education for everyone whether they want to or not. Of course there will be increasing resistance and difficulty persisting in that manner.

This is an idea that has been around for at least the last 50 years -- but did not become popular because it reduced the financial opportunities in "education," rather than increased it -- for the professionals operating in this field.

This happens in every field -- in which the service provider determines the demand as well as the supply -- which is particular danger of government unions to control both.

Education as we have known it for the last hundred years has become obsolete -- and can be a function that is self-taught, and learned -- as the best do already, and have always done. It's time that became the universal model of education.

 
At June 08, 2007 9:31 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

If the teachers weren’t the only ones who controlled both the demand as well as the supply for their industry, they would undisputably be at the top of the pecking order -- except their are more powerful controlling self-interests, including, law and medicine (health care), that gets to trump education because they can control even more vital functions -- and milk the lucrative teacher population.

It is a vicious cycle of exploitation has “professionals” increase their own job security over the interest of their consumer base. In health care, that would be to continue one is a lifelong state of requiring medical attention for what are determined to be chronic, lifelong conditions -- rather than eliminating them. With lawyers, the more one resorts one resorts to them, the more one’s problems seem to multiply, until one is totally dependent on them.

Many people don’t realize they don’t need professional help for many things the professionals convince them they do. Most of the people who have problems with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) are invariably those who depend on professional tax advisors, whose first bit of advice is to “Ignore the request for more information by the IRS, because they’re taking care of the matter,” which escalate out of control because they don’t, setting up the vicious cycle of exasperation and sense of persecution. I think the IRS is the most commonly abused government agency in this way.

Close behind are all the other government agencies. Government controls the information -- rather than that the citizens do. Once people have the information, they don’t need the government for further aid. Thus the government really needs to primarily be in the information business rather than the end service provider. That changes the cost paradigm tremendously -- but probably to the detriment and dislocation of government workers, who are vested in keeping their jobs for as long as possible and getting paid more for them year after year even if those jobs no longer need to be performed.

Increasingly, more and more jobs formerly performed by government simply get replaced by citizens having the information so as not to have the problems in the first place. That would be disastrous for the countless middlemen who exploit human misery in that way.

That's how people get vested in the problem -- and want them to continue and grow as much as possible -- even at the detriment of the overall welfare of that society, because the narrow special interests are allowed precedence over the greater good, as one sees with government employee unions.

 
At June 08, 2007 10:00 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

For quite some time now, information has not been hard to come by -- as it used to be. Instead, it has become pretty nearly impossible to avoid. The trick though, is being able to choose well that information one bombarded with daily -- to the really useful and invaluable.

To achieve this, one has to avoid being the most easily bombarded with bad information. One has to be invisible to those senders, or volunteers of manipulative and deceptive information. Then one has to have a systematic way of tracking down the useful -- and maintaining that access. Otherwise one is back in the random pool and can consume one’s whole life with nothing of importance, significance and usefulness -- very easily. In fact, that is the easiest thing to do!

Because the paradigm is turned upside down, the first has become the last, and the last first. Mass media is the predictably the major target of bad information, and other dispensers of mass information, such as the schools, universities, political parties, unions, etc. Anywhere people gather for the purpose of trading gossip, rumor, innuendo become fertile ground for the information manipulators.

They would have a high priority in discrediting observers who can clearly see their manipulations, deceptions and contrivances -- and warn others about them. In most cases, they simply ignore them, realizing that most people are hopelessly addicted to mass media and cannot determine the credibility of any source other than its widespread availability.

However, that has left that whole field alone to develop largely without opposition and suppression -- that they receive in the traditional popular media. That causes the migration of the best detectors -- to these alternatives, that gather momentum and strength, while the old media mysteriously loses theirs. That is the powerful paradigm shift of these times.

Change is not a slow, linear process of time -- but occurs in quantum leaps, when all the right things get together to make them seem to just happen spontaneously -- except for the few who have learned to see these things coming. This is the concept of awareness -- which is an even more valuable skill than being able to “make” things happen. In much of life, things are already underway and happening, but one still has to be able to recognize them, and ride the wave.

 
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