Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cultural Anthropology

I have just read another great post from Dave "How to Save the World" Pollard, which identifies a principle closely related to POSIWID. Things Are The Way They Are For A Reason. (alternative source).

Dave's idea is that failure to learn and understand the often complex reasons for the status quo usually leads to simplistic, naive and unworkable solutions to problems.

Dave's solution: how to reduce the cost of not understanding the reasons why things are the way they are? Cultural anthropology. We are engaged in a project that goes back to Gregory Bateson.

Of course, that doesn't mean the status quo is frozen solid, as Brecht pointed out. Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.

And as someone else said: The point is not to understand the world: the point is to change it.

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