Although there are spectacular exceptions to the rule, I can say with some certainty, having spent a very large part of my life paying attention to how new ideas are accepted and diffused, that nobody really wants new ideas.
New ideas are confronting and discomfiting. They cause people to have to think and re-evaluate their old ideas. It involves difficult work and the pain of cognitive dissonance. People hate new ideas, in the main.
What they love are ideas that seem new, but confirm their existing ideas. Evidence and proof makes no difference at all. If an idea is a settled idea, then all evidence will be sifted and discarded in order to preserve the existing idea.
That leads to an interesting conclusion. If your stock in trade and talent is in innovation and new ideas, you’re almost certainly wasting your time. The only “new” ideas that take root are the ones that the whole herd slowly embraces. Those kinds of movements are typically glacial, irrespective of the actual urgency.
This is why nobody is really acting to avert climate change. This is why the disproven and discredited economic system is not being actively replaced by something more imaginative and beneficial to all. This is why money is issued the way it has been for generations. This is why we still blindly worship monarchs. This is why the most privileged elites can maintain their hold on the rest of us.
We still love impressionist paintings most, even though that new idea is well over a century old. Those that hate impressionism love a style of painting that is even older. Perhaps the last great painters were the hieroglyph painters of ancient Egypt.
Rock and roll is now the music of septuagenarians. Anything new is abhorred by the so called rebels that embraced rock when it was young.
The principles underlying the internal combustion engine are basically the same as they were, when these engines were first invented. We really haven’t moved on. There has been little genuine attempt to foster and nurture newer innovations, in the conversion of energy to motion.
Cancer research has been going on since the 1950s, yet we have little improvement in cures and not much by way of progress to report. In fact, they seldom report their progress. It’s in stasis.
When a UK politician stands up and espouses institutionalising and legislating fairness, with an unprecedented mandate, he’s treated as a national joke, like some kind of alien, saying words that nobody agrees with or understands. None of these new ideas can be allowed to flourish. They will upset too many entrenched apple carts, such as the media’s presumption that they can tell the electorate who to vote for, what to think and how to think. Belief is manipulated, yet the idea that you can escape it is seen as too new and radical to be seriously entertained.
We live in a world that systematically crushes and weeds out new ideas and perhaps we always have. Perhaps this is the very reason why history repeats. It’s because we never fully embrace the alternative ideas that would prevent the repetition of past mistakes. The fact that history is a reliable guide to the future is all the proof you need that humanity hates new ideas.
I don’t know why I am telling you this, as the likelihood is that you hate new ideas too. You probably feel uncomfortable reading this idea. Those people that try their whole lives, at great personal sacrifice and peril, to introduce new ideas are your enemy. No wonder they get so tired of having to explain those new ideas, over and over again, to deaf ears. You’re all arrayed against them.
Even people that have new ideas to offer often hate new ideas that other people bring them. In the end, they, too, go mad both trying to get their new idea heard and accepted and in disputing and deflecting other peoples’ new ideas. What dies, every time, is the new idea.
Sometimes, somebody will discover an old new idea, dust it off and realise that it still has merit and that, in fact, if introduced today, it would still be an new idea, despite its vintage. It does no good. Rediscovered ideas are automatically classified as discredited, even though all they really were was discarded.
I’d love to see proof to the contrary, but it seems unlikely. People really do hate innovations and nobody wants new ideas.
Prove me wrong.