Innovation, do not be afraid
di Luca La Mantia, 14 giugno 2016.
In 5 thousand years of history mankind has not changed at
all. The same mistrust as thousands of years ago seem to affect our
lives at present. Just think of innovation. In the transition
from oral tradition to the written one, many authors expressed their
concerns. Among other things, they said that transcribing the ancient
myths would have crystallized their content, making it invariable and
eliminating that component of improvisation that gave them livelihood.
Several centuries after the invention of movable type
revolutionized the publishing industry. But even in that case there was a
good deal of suspicion. Some people argued that the press
would have killed the art of manuscript, with its corollary of
miniatures and illustrations. Besides, it would have left thousands of
monks without a job. Monks who had patiently allowed ancient knowledge
to reach modern age.
If those fears managed to breach society, there would be no books and
newspapers today, that is to say, tools that have made mass literacy
and a more equitable spread of culture possible. Two factors that are
the basis of all democratic system.
In recent decades, technology has made great strides,
introducing significant changes into our lifestyle. We live connected
for most of the day, social media have reduced distances,
allowing us to communicate simultaneously with people who are on the
other side of our planet. At present, the Internet allows us to carry
all our activities online: work, business, study, and research.
Everything happens faster, since time has become the most valuable asset
in a society where living spaces seem to shrink more and more.
Feeling alienated, in a context so different from the one we were born and raised in, is part of our nature.
Yet, it should not make us reject a change that is already creating new
opportunities. The branch that will benefit the most from it is work.
Just think of the Web reputation, i.e., all the data that determine the
digital reputation of a person or a company. This information can guide
our choices. If we have to buy an item on eBay, we address a seller
other users consider “trustworthy”. Or else, entrepreneurs in need to
hire new staff can use social networks to understand not only whether
the candidate actually possess the required qualities, but also whether
he shares the company’s values and spirit, for instance. Web
reputation creates new spaces: if making a “good impression” online
becomes necessary, a new economic demand will be born, giving an input
to the creation of new companies, specialized in taking care of our
Digital fame is just one of the thousands of examples you can make to discourage fear of innovation.
Change, progress, are immanent to human history. Our ancestors found
the courage to move forwards despite thousands of doubts. Today, we
thank them, as our grandchildren will thank us some day in the future.