“Neophilia contends with neophobia.”So writes Brett Cooke in Biopoetics.
He adds, “Science fiction allows us to vicariously live in a society before we have taken on the investment of building it.”
Our love of novelty often first gets expressed in our arts and we evolve toward or away from what is new.
Given our propensity to always have some percentage of us who are neophobic, being the developer of new is not necessarily a fun thing. It would seem that Silicon Valley is unique in its desire to have something new and to penalize what is old.
Old companies are ever rarer. Those that are old either have a one-off product so unique that innovation is unnecessary (I think Milky Ways) or success becomes once upon a time (Polaroid).
Who should have thought of Polaroid’s demise? Apparently not Eastman Kodak.
Capitalism’s success predicates on an ability to fight neophobics. Governments wage the battle less successfully. Is our own government for the people too reminiscent of decisions by committee? How do we peaceably revolutionize ourselves in productive ways? How do we, like our businesses, fix what is broken without breaking what is fixed?
I think we all need a greater awareness that we are government’s stockholders. I know I am not there yet.
Maybe I should consider writing science fiction. I had rather fancied myself a poet. Not a problem, poets embrace neophilia.
Here we come Silicon Valley. Neophilia, sixty somethings creating change. We could call ourselves Jobsians, and straight off own a double meaning.