Friday thread: On doing things that make us feel good but which don’t work…

YouTube video

Benjamin Brattan gave this anti TED TEDx talk in San Diego last year. He’s talking directly to the kind of techno-utopianism that TED often falls into.

But this section towards the end might have some useful lessons for Northern Ireland. Consider, following Jim’s analysis this morning, that the Haass talks fall under the category of “things that make us feel good but which don’t work“:

If we really want transformation we have to slog through the hard stuff: the history; economics; philosophy; art; the ambiguities and contradictions. Because focusing just on technology or just on innovation actually prevents transformation.

We need to raise the level of general understanding to the level of complexity of the systems in which we are embedded in which are embedded in us.

This is not about personal stories of inspiration. It’s about the hard difficult work up demystification and reconceptualization. More Copernicus less Tony Robins.

At a societal level the bottom line is that if we invest in things that make us feel good but which don’t work and don’t invest in things which don’t make us feel good but which may solve problems then our fate is that in the long run it’ll just get harder and harder to feel good about not solving problems

In this case the placebo is not just ineffective it’s harmful that it because it takes your interest and energy and outrage and diverts it into a black hole which is affectation.[Emphasis added]

Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.