Why do people fear the new? Is it a product of superficial reaction about cognition that doesn’t allow the mind and human nature to be malleable and adjust to new thinking? This article by Donald Clark addresses neophobia. He reminds us of the famous Douglas Adams’ thoughts – 1) Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal 2) Anything that gets invented before then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career of it 3) Anything that gets invented after your thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it has been around for ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright….
I agree with his post, however this is about adults, and how they learn, and how they change. The are additional dynamics that are introduced when a new process or technology is introduced into the “normalcy” that someone experiences everyday. Every day tasks become about the technology, and not about the process or goal we are trying to achieve. It gets in the way, it is like training a new employee (except we are training ourselves.) It is an investment of time we hope will pay off.
Good food for thought from Donald Clark.
Thomas Kuhn and the evolutionist Wilson, saw neophobia as a brake on human thinking and progress, as individuals and institutions tend to work within paradigms, encouraging ‘groupthink’ which makes people irrationally defensive and unsupportive of new ideas and technologies.