Progress Is Out of Control: Surprise, Discovery and the Challenges of Dynamism

Yasmin Valdez  | 08 de octubre de 2018  | Vistas: 87

Control, stasis, dynamism, and progress are some themes exposed in this conference by Virginia Postrel. She starts discussing how technology has evolved, and how people have reacted in a pessimistic way to the concept of the future.

She explains how culture, standards and the thinking process of individuals changes when technology does, using food as one of her examples. Also, how nowadays cultural studies are about food because humans express their identity and socioeconomic position in terms of what they eat.

People are so obsessed with taking pictures of their food so much, that today when you are thinking about opening a restaurant one thing you have to think about is how to make your food photogenic.”

Then, Postrel exposes how cultural mixing is related to the identity of society and the way globalization has permitted this. She describes the difference between stasis, closed systems, dynamism and open systems. She also connects these terms with creativity, control, markets, regulations, and innovation.

The limit to progress it’s not the resources, and it’s not even the number of ideas that people have, it’s how those ideas and resources can be recombined.”

Virginia points out the importance of knowing the real purpose of progress, the way it’s linked to combinations, sharing of data, information and not only to a number of resources. She connects this with what people ignore when they impose new regulations on industries and businesses. In addition, Postrel arguments about the disperse knowledge and the relevance of it for a society to develop.

The lecturer presents her perspective of the two kinds of competition and reveals how this together with a technological evolution in medicine saved her life in 2008. She concludes describing how a society can progress and reviews a phrase of Friedrich Hayek related to the process of learning.

Now watch Virginia postrel on Glamour Beyond Fashion: A Form of Nonverbal Persuasion.


Author, columnist and speaker