The Importance of Destructive Behavior

SSIR – The New Science of Designing for Humans

One of the basics of human nature is our constructive and destructive instincts. That seem about evenly balanced.

We have been concentrating so much on our machines, and concerned about their behavior – that we have forgotten about our own behavior. And even our own existence.

This article attempts to remedy this situation. SSIR stands for Stanford Social Innovation Review. Stanford University is one of the reasons for Silicon Valley, where it is located – and also a center (along with MIT, in Boston) for radical social development..

In my twenty years in California high-tech – ten years in Southern California, and ten years in the Valley – I was struck, over and over by its destructiveness. Companies sprang up like mushrooms growing in manure – and were immediately taken over by unscrupulous individuals – and destroyed.

I was amazed, but no one else seemed to notice. And seemed think everything was perfectly normal. The ability of people to adapt to their surroundings, change themselves as a result, and notice nothing, is amazing.

The people who built these companies were destroyed also – although software development practices matured rapidly. I just downloaded Visual Studio 2017 – and it is loaded with improvements.

The two impulses – construction and destruction – are still hard at work.

The SSIR article tries to transfer Software Development methodologies to Social Development – without noticing the vast differences between machines (such as the Computer) and people. For this reason, this effort will fail.

With the election of Trump, America’s destructive impulse has matured. But, once again, few are noticing this. Americans have destroyed themselves, and their children – and have taken great care to not notice this. This happened because they were not capable of criticizing their culture – of seeing what was going on, right under their noses.

We are in the beginning of a social collapse – but how deep it will be, and how long it will last – we do not know.


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