10 August, 2015


please answer in the comments. i really am looking for a cross section of answers:

do you think that the world changes in tiny boring incremental steps because people lack audacity? do you think that a little more of said audacity would help bring about substantial changes?


the auntologist said...

I think all change is either incremental (most of the time) or a sudden rupture (big and noticeable but rare) so

Cthulku said...

On an individual level, self-motivated change that lasts is virtually always incremental. For the vast majority of people, big, sudden change leads to backsliding. Changes from external causes tend to be short lived before reverting to baseline; think of the classic example of the lottery winner or cancer diagnosis: at first the big news causes a huge change, but within weeks to months the person's old baseline returns.

On larger scales -- social, for instance -- abrupt shocks can cause abrupt change, but are often accompanied by more "pain" at the individual level, and are inherently more chaotic. Abrupt social change often leads to a strong conservative response, either overtly or subvertly.

I do think that too much emphasis is placed after the fact in reports of audacious success on some attribute of the central character, while the failures are at worst never known, or at best attributed to more external causes. With the benefit of hindsight, all kinds of audacious causes can the found for the success of Uber, for example, but what of the failure of the hundreds of other, virtually unknown, rideshare/sharing economy companies that started around the same time and with similar models and funding?

What I think I'm trying to get at is that audacity cannot be differentiated from recklessness in advance, but only once the chips are counted can the risk be seen as worthwhile or not. So, most people either err on the side of caution, or if they have the resources they hedge. More audacity leads to more failure; if the failure is affordable then that's fine, but sometimes it isn't.

Tom said...

I think change takes place in quantum increments. Many such little changes amount to a large change. I do not believe audacity comes into the equation. A slight change in mindset can result in enormous changes which are quite beyond the person experiencing the change in mindset. Often that is all that is required to change one's life.

Zhoen said...

I think everyone is changing the world in little bits all the time, through both action and inaction, intentionally or not. When it gets terribly unbalanced, there is a tipping point, and the people who happen to wind up most visible when it spills over get credit or blame. Not just people, either, but viruses and earthquakes and migratory birds.

I have never considered audacity to be important. Courage, curiosity, and persistence, or on the other hand, war and blind entitlement, have wrought more big changes. Well, and the odd meteor.

Have you ever seen James Burkes The Day The Universe Changed? It's an old series, but still stands up I think, and is pertinent to your question.

Fresca said...

Ooh! YES to more audacity, in the sense that it is the opposite of FEAR & SHAME, which restricts us.

"Audacity" from Latin audere "to dare, be bold."

This need not mean big, public boldness, like Teddy Roosevelt or Capt Kirk.
Not at all.
It may mean, in my case, daring to be emotionally vulnerable, to ask for help, and to risk making a fool of myself (in love, in art, in ideas).

However, I don't think this would fundamentally make the world any better, any faster.

In fact, big bold folk too often tend toward bullying (Teddy, again), unless tempered by lots of checks and balances.

Have you read or listened to Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly?
TED talk here:

polish chick said...

ah, fresca! welcome!
i think you're the only one who understood the true intent of my question. thank you. the audacity of which i speak here is daring to move beyond my perceived limitations - not some great flamboyant gestures on a global scale.

as for brene brown, my bananologist recommended her and i've been reading the gifts of imperfection. i love what she said about the midlife crisis being not at all a crisis but a shift from being what's expected of us to true authenticity.