Pace of change: a 'problem'?

Richard Plourde (
Sun, 14 Sep 1997 12:58:40 -0400

Was: Re: Help! Leisure or Extro-Holocaust?

At 12:15 PM 9/14/97 +0100, Sarah Marr wrote:

>See above. You have not convinced me that the pace of change is
not a problem.

First, a moment of brief self-introduction. I go by the name
Richard Plourde, work as an electronics design consultant (mostly
developing exotic measurement instrumentation), philosophically
would probably get classified as an Epicurean, enjoy blue water
sailing, and come to this list by way of a posting on the nonserve
list (a list dedicated to the anti-mystical philosophy of Max
Stirner). My evaluative approaches will probably reflect training
in general-semantics.

I note that 'problem,' in this context, represents an evaluation,
not something measurable as a fact. Sometimes we neglect the
evaluative part of 'problem' and treat 'problem' as if it were a
fact. That generally occurs with consensus, as in when we call
cancer 'a problem.' Consensus has limited reliability -- everyone
considering the world 'flat', for example, does not make the world
flat. But, in this specific instance, we clearly do not have
consensus, so we need not look too closely at the traps of
consensus. Instead, we can look at underlying relationships.

Some people adapt to change quite well -- indeed, some people seem
to thrive on rapid change, gain great pleasure from it, and
experience other benefits (possibly related to the gradually
increasing life-span in advanced technology regions) that come
from the process of change.

Yet many people do not adapt to change, and experience discomfort
(strengthened neuroses, poverty, premature death, etc.) in the
face of rapid change.

No matter *how* we look at 'problem', it seems as though "pace of
change" can represent only a factor, and not "the problem." A
consensus on cancer makes some sense; off-hand, I can think of no
one who considers cancer advantageous. An evaluation of "pace of
change" as a problem, on the other hand, has many counter

I think that, to explain why some people would consider a rapid
"pace of change" to represent "a problem," and why other people
would consider it "a solution," we have to look to factors beyond
change itself. Individual adaptability can account, at least in
large part, for the differences.

I claim that we can probably verify a high degree of empirical
correlation with the assertions:

"Rapid change" + "adaptability" -> effectiveness + joy
"Rapid change" + "rigidity" -> ineffectiveness + depression

Such an analysis, where adaptability and rigidity count more than
"rapid change" may not get accepted easily. Recognizing
adaptability as a kind of evaluational pivot may represent a shift
in responsibility that many people, particularly those who (for
reasons I do not begin to comprehend) avoid recognition of their
own powers, will not easily accept.


Richard Plourde ..

"The word is not the thing, the map is not the territory"