The Economist reports on the changing face of innovation, its benefits and how to encourage it. What is clear from the various articles is that openness, open systems, freedom to do business are the characteristics that allow creativity to flourish. The internet is such an environment (you only have to browse YouTube to see that). And that regulation , IP protection and similar distortions are not helpful in the emerging global economy of democratic capital. Open systems are inherently innovative.
An article by the New York Times based on a series of recent articles and a book, “The Happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathan Haidt, a moral psychologist at the University of Virginia, who has been constructing a broad evolutionary view of morality that traces its connections both to religion and to politics. Here’s an extract:
Of the moral systems that protect individuals, one is concerned with preventing harm to the person and the other with reciprocity and fairness. Less familiar are the three systems that promote behaviors developed for strengthening the group. These are loyalty to the in-group, respect for authority and hierarchy, and a sense of purity or sanctity.
The five moral systems, in Dr. Haidt’s view, are innate psychological mechanisms that predispose children to absorb certain virtues. Because these virtues are learned, morality may vary widely from culture to culture, while maintaining its central role of restraining selfishness. In Western societies, the focus is on protecting individuals by insisting that everyone be treated fairly. Creativity is high, but society is less orderly. In many other societies, selfishness is suppressed “through practices, rituals and stories that help a person play a cooperative role in a larger social entity,” Dr. Haidt said.
Observing the world
BusinessWeek reviews Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of The Unconscious which discusses the science cited behind the bestseller Blink. The book helps understand how and why intuition works, but perhaps fails to elaborate on associated processes that help it work well – like being well informed. The social profile in which the scenarios work also offers insight in to the sheep mentality of consumer behaviour. Importantly it helps the reader come closer to merging their emotional and intellectual intelligences.