The musings of Mr Monkeysized

Failure by monkeysized
February 24, 2010, 19:26
Filed under: Uncategorized

Failure is not something to be scared of – in fact, as we have pointed out to us in typical eloquence in the latest BBC Analysis, it’s something that helps us understand the world, test our ideas, and move on.

So why don’t we? Well, a hefty chunk of the programme was about politics, and just how much a certain bit of failure would help everybody, as policies are tried out and a correct path and policy is found. Of course, as Fraser Nelson and Estelle Morris both admit, this admirable way forward won’t make it because of the system.

Systemic failure to allow failure is something also touched on by The Economist: “The country cannot deal with its big, long term problems… because essentially they’re trying to solve 21st century problems with a government system that was designed in the 18th century and for a very different world”. So Adrian Wooldridge put a view of why the US political system is perhaps ungovernable.

All certainly arguable, and probably true. But at a deeper level, it’s because we’re over-grown monkeys, adapted for a relatively simple set of challenges that grow out of our evolutionary home on the savannahs of East Africa, and now faced with negotiating mechanisms to guide and control massively complex societies with the input of millions of people who don’t understand or even recognise that complexity.

We’re monkeysized; our political systems and societies aren’t. It’d be great if failure was allowed, but trying to get people to recognise that would be as difficult as trying to convince a child that it’s worth sacrificing two sweets now for three tomorrow.


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