Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Change is hard

For humans the notion that change is hard is something we learn very early in life. I don't know why it is, but we seem to be inherently resistant to new habits, practices, resources or materials in our daily lives, and even new information. Developers of systems and products are careful to build into new models enough familiarity to help users make the transition to a new way of doing something. Which started me thinking about how what if there were such mechanisms available to every sort of change in every area of our lives? Some kind of automatic process to help us adjust to a new schedule or a new boss or a new law, instead of just waking up one morning and discovering it's time to change. Theoretically this assistance could apply to optional things as well. What if new or controversial ideas were always first presented in a "toned down" form or one piece of the issue at a time? And when we get used to that piece, then it would be time to introduce the second.

Clearly I realize that in a lot of venues this sort of imaginary system would be very difficult to implement, and, of course, a problem you'd quickly run into would be time management (everything would take forever). Moreover, what would you do if someone refused to accept step one? How would you ever get them to a mandatory step five? Reality aside, I just think it's an interesting concept to think about. If change is so difficult for humans, would it ever be possible to evolve some sort of system to help us cope with change? It seems conceivable. But if it is, then why haven't we done so already?

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