Where is the Future now?

Behind the glitter of spectacular distractions, a tendency toward banalization dominates modern society the world over, even where the more advanced forms of commodity consumption have seemingly multiplied the variety of roles and objects to choose from. The vestiges of religion and of the family, along with the vestiges of moral repression imposed by those two institutions, can be blended with ostentatious pretensions of worldly gratification precisely because life in this particular world remains repressive and offers nothing but pseudo-gratifications. Complacent acceptance of the status quo may also coexist with purely spectacular rebelliousness — dissatisfaction itself becomes a commodity as soon as the economy of abundance develops the capacity to process that particular raw material.

- Society of the Spectacle, chapter 3, 59

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

About Comformity

The following read is from a business magazine. It is addressed to individuals working within corporate structures.

Conformity and group size

Are they one of us?

Need for structure

Social approval


Social norms

So, that is the power of conformity, as it occurs every day, between every single one of us (even hermits are conforming with other hermits!).

The Power of Conformity: is not in itself a good or a bad thing. For example, creativity is built on some of the pillars of nonconformity: ignoring social norms and authority, eschewing social approval, rejecting structure and cultivating dissent. On the other hand many of societies most basic institutions—government, finance, transport, education—would collapse if people didn't conform.

This list gives you all sorts of ways to think about your own and other people's conformity. You need to be creative to think about how these processes can help you achieve your aims, whether it's in business, your personal life, online or elsewhere

Whatever your goals are, remember that conformity affects everyone, whether we know it or not. Understanding how and when puts you one step aheadof the pack.

· Research shows group members equate creativity with conformity.

Creativity is a much coveted asset for avery simple reason: an idea that transcends orthodoxy has the power to bring wealth, fame and status. Commercial, scientific, educational and artistic organisations, therefore, often talk about how they want to foster creativity.

Unfortunately groups only rarely foment great ideas because people in them are powerfully shaped by group norms: the unwritten rules which describe how individuals in a group 'are' and how they 'ought' to behave. Norms influence what people believe is right and wrong just as surely as real laws, but with none of the permanence or transparency of written regulations.

Thinking inside the box

The purpose of norms is to provide a stable and predictable social world, to regulate our behaviour with each other. In many respects norms have a beneficial effect, bolstering society's foundations and keeping it from falling into chaos. On the other hand stability and predictability are enemies of the creative process.

Camels are horses designed by committee

So of course schools kill creativity, of course politicians are fighting over the middle ground, of course most TV programmes are the same and of course all our high streets are identical. People are social animals who work in groups and, especially with the advance of globalisation, the number of groups that govern or control our world has shrunk. These groups naturally kill creativity, or at least redefine it as conformity.

Creativity within groups isn't impossible, though, it's just that it has to fight all the harder to get out. Coming up with something truly new often means having to steer a path away from the herd, towards new horizons.

If you really covet creativity, then there's one rule you'd be well advised to follow: go it alone.


Something i found...

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