Trump won. What else are you wrong about?
This year I’ve been on something of a strange and alarming journey. I’ve remarked time and again that the world seems to have stopped making sense and, this morning, as I awake to news that Donald Trump has been elected to the White House I once again asked myself, in true Trump fashion, what the hell is going on.
I once again asked myself, in true Trump fashion, what the hell is going on.
It’s very easy to imagine, when the world stops making sense, that you are the sane individual keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs. There is a comfort in this idea but I’m presently in no mood to comfort myself. In fact, I’ve come to see that my quest for comfort, to create a world in my mind that suits my needs, is precisely why I feel so lost.
You see, if the world has stopped making sense then it is hardly likely that it is the world that is faulty. The fact is that if your assumptions no longer explain reality it is your assumptions that must change.[clickToTweet tweet=”If your assumptions no longer explain reality it is your assumptions that must change” quote=”If your assumptions no longer explain reality it is your assumptions that must change” theme=”style6″]
For politicos this means coming to terms with a new form of politics, letting go of the outmoded constructs that have left them shocked over and over as pollsters fail to anticipate how voters will behave and as the well-groomed, well-qualified and seemingly reasonable choices are passed over, and expert advice ignored. We may call it post-factual politics but what matters is that it isn’t the politics of old. A failure to adapt to this reality is why the UK is on course to leave the European Union, against the advice of almost every significant element of the establishment, and America is following its first black president with a man endorsed by the KKK who has been caught publicly boasting of sexual assault.
But failure to adapt to reality isn’t just a problem for politicians.
But failure to adapt to reality isn’t just a problem for politicians. Whenever we seek to solve problems, if we don’t begin with reality, we are immediately lost.
Among the many reasons that new endeavours fail is the simple challenge that they begin with incorrect assumptions, faulty models of reality. We see this every week on TV talent shows as people, convinced by their echo chambers that they have star potential, go on to humiliate themselves in front of millions. We also see it all over websites like Kickstarter or shows like Dragons Den, where entrepreneurs confidently display their amazing ideas which, when exposed to the wider world, are shown to solve problems that nobody really has.
Worst of all, these products that solve a non-existent problem are often the most exciting to innovation seeking people who are always on the lookout for something to make people say wow. Prime amongst these in recent memory is Google Glass; a product so poorly conceived that it spawned an insulting name for those who use it, Glassholes, before it was generally available to buy!
Products that solve a non-existent problem are often the most exciting
Google Glass failed because of a poorly understood concept of reality. They began with a technology they thought was clever and allowed their assumptions about the world to blind them to the fact that, clever and interesting as it was, their product was a bad idea. Now, ask yourself, in this crazy world where nothing seems to make sense anymore, how sure are you about your own assumptions?[clickToTweet tweet=”In this world where nothing seems to make sense anymore how sure are you about your assumptions?” quote=”In this world where nothing seems to make sense anymore, how sure are you about your assumptions?” theme=”style6″]
People enjoy characterising creativity as if it is something akin to magic, existing in its own world divorced from the harsh realities of life. They imagine that the perfect environment for creative thinking is one without boundaries and without constraints. This is nonsense. Creativity lives in the real world. Real information, reliable assumptions and reasonable models are the oxygen of creativity. Without these you may well produce something remarkable – like Google Glass – but it certainly won’t succeed beyond that point.
Real information, reliable assumptions and reasonable models are the oxygen of creativity.
I do feel that the world has stopped making sense. I could wallow in that and waste my energy wishing that the world would more perfectly fit my beliefs. But that is not the response befitting someone who aspires to living a creative life.
If you wish to be creative, if you intend to make things happen in the world, you don’t get the luxury of pretending that the world is as you would prefer. You have to stare into reality as it is, because that’s where creativity happens.http://openforideas.org/blog/2016/11/09/trump-won-what-else-are-you-wrong-about/https://i2.wp.com/openforideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/the_evil_bastard.jpg?fit=1024%2C576https://i2.wp.com/openforideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/the_evil_bastard.jpg?resize=150%2C150Personal Creativityassumptions,creativity,election,trump
Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!
For my thesis, I consulted a lot of information, read your article made me feel a lot, benefited me a lot from it, thank you for your help. Thanks!
Oh dear, Aran you have been reading too many newspapers and polls and what is worse, you actually believe what they said. Donald Trump’s election is a sign that normality is being restored to an over politicised and too PC universe. Not sorry.
Hi Ilana, I think you missed the point of the article. Rather than jabbing a judgemental finger at anyone it was all about offering positivity to people who feel alienated by what’s happened. Please take it in the open, accepting and positive spirit it was intended.
You’re absolutely right, Ilana, I did believe what the polls said. As pointed out above, the challenge we have is that we’re shocked by this outcome. We’re shocked precisely because we’ve not been looking at the bigger picture and hearing what many people are trying to say.
I don’t agree, however, that this is anything to do with “normality” being restored. I don’t think that such a thing exists. Change is the only constant and we’ve failed to see the change that has taken place.
There are a lot of people, perhaps yourself included, who feel we’ve gone too far in seeking equality for gay people and support for refugees, for example. These people think that it’s not OK that they are criticised for making light of sexually assuaulting women, mocking disabled people and stoking xenophobic fear.
These people think differently from me. What they see as political correctness I see as simply behaving like a decent human. It’s my fault for not seeing their point of view more clearly because, without seeing it I was unable to combat it.
We shouldn’t ignore people who think that all Muslim are terrorists or that gay people are going too far in expecting to be treated like, you know, humans. We should engage with them and change their minds. It’s only by doing this that we prevent the anger and fear that has swept Trump to victory.
Woke up this morning with a hangover like feeling. Aran, grateful to read your sobering and positive call to take action. Times have changed. The old rules, norms and expert thinking are no longer relevant. We each need to decide what action to take and what we will create instead. Cheers again!
This is amazing Aran. When so many of us are reeling in shock and sitting in a dark place, you’ve turned this into a positive life lesson. Just what I needed to hear. All you have to do is keep up the good work for another 4 years!