Update: A New Era of Design and Nourishment

We are within an overlap of two eras:

  1. Disruption
  2. Post-Disruption

The Disruption era is/was so strong, that similar to the impact of Modernism on global social/global/economics, it is a “Post-” era versus a newly named one (Modernism shifted to Postmodernism).

Disruption (as an era) has shaken off the emotional force of Nostalgia, specifically off the back of Progress. One goal of Disruption was to remove the emotional connection to the past and replace it with a rational celebration of the new (similar to Modernism). As example, retro design, remakes of “classic” films and TV shows, and turning childhood books into movies are symptoms of the friction Nostalgia creates between the past and the future. As example, critics loved the first generation iPhone (no one complained it didn’t have the same look/feel of old phones), but vendors still arose to provide¬†retro gadgets to modify it so it would. Disruption has worked incredibly hard to separate Nostalgia from an appreciation of what’s ¬†“Good.”

Post-Disruption is an era with a focus on building stronger foundations in the new global reality created by Disruption. It’s an adoption of the the lasting forces of Disruption as a new normal, but within two distinct paths towards the future:

  • Neo-Modernism Design Driven: To continually reinvent the present through new systems and technologies in the service of solving issues (both global and local). This requires both solving current high-profile technological issues (health, energy) plus inventing new opportunities and markets (innovations) and therefore magnetizing communities around these new innovations
  • Neo-Renaissance Nutriment Nourishment: To provide foundational support (both global and local) that fosters the betterment of livelihood. Similar to the above, but with a focus on the basics. It is a new investigation of how to build a “Good” future (social and economic) that learns from historical lessons without the friction of Nostalgia to impede progress

Looking at our current experience, these two forces are unbalanced…maybe they aren’t meant to be. The force of Design is outweighing Nourishment. Both are growing. Either way, people, governments, and businesses should be considering these two paths when planning for the next five years, and beyond.

  • You raise two thoughts here. One is the conflict between past and future, which to me is the root between conservative and liberalism, the tension between the anti-Obama crowd and MSN in America and more broadly the tension between Islamic terrorists and Western modern society, the core friction of our time. The line between these two spheres is constantly moving, like some form of turbulent wave caught between two shifting currents. What we believe is recklessly liberal today (say, gay marriage) will become a pillar of conservatism tomorrow. While the currents change, the tension between them remains the same.

    The second concept is “design” vs. “nourishment,” which both seem aspects of advancement, the first more mind-jacking but trivial than the latter. We hunger for design the same way we lust after salt or sugar or fatty meats, because good design like complex protein at one point was hard to come by. However, just as our modern groceries and fast-food outlets provide way more food than we need, we are gorging ourselves on nuances of design — look, a new iPhone OS! — that provide little real substance. Our hunger has misdirected our focus, and the foundational support of real development — of clean water for the poor, of universal healthcare still lacking in a rich nation — are not funded with our attention. If anything, we push these more nourishing areas of progress aside because they don’t jack our minds, kick our endorphins, fill our personal hunger for independence, and we decry them as collectivism or socialism when really community is an important a value in society as liberty. Foundational support by nature is broad, and broad things require many hands to build and many people to lean on, and we’re uncomfortable with sharing either work or reward.

    This second area seems a newer form of conflict. The first is part of history.

Comments are closed.