The cult of disruptive innovation: Where America went wrong | Jill Lepore | Big Think | Summary and Q&A

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October 15, 2018
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The cult of disruptive innovation: Where America went wrong | Jill Lepore | Big Think

TL;DR

The abandonment of the idea of moral progress has led to a political crisis, with progress being equated to technological advancements and prosperity instead of moral betterment.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Moral progress was central to the founding of the United States but has been overshadowed by a focus on technological advancements and prosperity.
  • 🀨 The destructive capabilities of technology have raised doubts about the merits of progress and led to a crisis in the concept.
  • πŸ‡¨πŸ‡· The ideology of disruptive innovation prioritizes novelty and disruption at the cost of moral integrity and social wellbeing.
  • β›½ The abandonment of moral progress in favor of technological progress has fueled a political crisis and may contribute to socio-economic inequalities.
  • πŸ™ˆ Criticism and failure are seen as acceptable in the pursuit of disruptive innovation, further eroding the importance of moral considerations.
  • πŸ“Ί The ideology of disruptive innovation inhibits societal learning from history and limits the vision of potential solutions.
  • πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’Ό Government support and services are essential for businesses to thrive, making the concern for a healthy social and political order crucial.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the concept of progress change over time in the United States?

Initially, progress was seen as a moral journey from sin to salvation, but it gradually shifted to focus on technological advancements and prosperity.

Q: What impact did Hiroshima have on the idea of progress?

Hiroshima highlighted the destructive power of technology and led to doubts about whether progress was worth the potential risks and consequences.

Q: What role did innovation play in the perception of progress?

Innovation became equated with progress and was thought to be the engine of economic growth. However, this perspective prioritized novelty and disruption over moral integrity and the common good.

Q: Why is the ideology of disruptive innovation concerning?

The ideology of disruptive innovation ignores the importance of history, the public interest, and the negative consequences that may arise. It promotes a reckless disregard for social and political order.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • In the 18th century, the United States was founded with the belief that progress is moral, but this idea of progress shifted to technological advancements and prosperity over time.

  • The concept of progress in the 20th century was primarily focused on accelerated consumption and the rise in the standard of living.

  • The idea of progress began to crumble in the middle of the 20th century due to the destructive capabilities of technology and the environmental consequences.

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