199. David Potter — Disruption: Why Things Change

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Michael Shermer Logo  fiber_manual_record  Aug 18th, 2021

Description

This conversation takes a deep dive into disruptions. How do things change? The question is critical to the historical study of any era but it is also a profoundly important issue today as western democracies find the fundamental tenets of their implicit social contract facing extreme challenges from forces espousing ideas that once flourished only on the outskirts of society. Not all radical groups are the same, and all the groups that the book explores take advantage of challenges that have already shaken the social order. They take advantage of mistakes that have challenged belief in the competence of existing institutions to be effective. It is the particular combination of an alternative ideological system and a period of community distress that are necessary conditions for radical changes in direction. As Disruption demonstrates, not all radical change follows paths that its original proponents might have predicted.

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