ALS Topic 26 - Change only happens when people change their minds. (Doesn't it?)

Focus questions for Adelaide Lunchtime Seminar, 19 January 2018
Venue: Adelaide
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Note: About Focus Questions: a) Please read them before you come to the meetup. Think about them so you have more than "instant opinions" to offer. b) Feel free to add more focus questions. c) THE FOCUS QUESTIONS ARE JUST A MENU TO CHOOSE FROM. From this menu we can discuss whatever seems interesting. d) Focus questions are not intended to push one viewpoint! You can adopt any position you wish. We actually like friendly disagreement - it can lead to deeper understanding.


Themes for this topic

Art, music, cuisine, technology & science, problem solving strategies/mindsets, education, economics, politics

Focus Questions

1. DOES CHANGE ONLY HAPPEN WHEN PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR MINDS? "Change happens ... when people change their minds. If everyone just talks to everyone they agree with right now, by definition, change will not occur. - Anthony Albanese (Guardian, 6 December 2018 -  ) Do you agree with Anthony Albanese? Can you think of particular examples which verify or contradict his argument?

2. WHAT PARTS OF YOU ARE IDEALIST, REALIST OR JUST DELUDED? - can you be a non-ideological person in an ideological world?

3. WHAT IS THE BEST BALANCE BETWEEN ADAPTABILITY AND RESISTANCE TO CHANGE? Adaptability is supposed to be the supreme advantage which homo sapiens hold over other species. Yet a person who is infinitely adaptable, for example to social and political environments, is often derided as lacking principles or consistency.

4. HOW DO YOU SEE THE BALANCE OF POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE OCCURRED IN SOME PART OF YOUR OWN LIFE? Change can happen in any part of a person's life, and in any part of a culture or country's history.

5. DO YOU TEND TO RESIST THE UNCERTAINTY OF CHANGE, OR DO YOU RELISH IT? Some changes are sought after, some are imposed, and some arrive unexpectedly for everyone. In general, do you seek a quiet life where change is minimized, or do you like to surf the uncertainty of whatever life serves up? Why?

6. WHAT (IF ANYTHING) HAS CAUSED YOU TO CHANGE THE MORAL, PHILOSOPHICAL OR PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES WITHIN WHICH YOU LIVE? Almost every system in nature, and in technology, varies (often randomly) within certain boundaries. That is true of your heartbeat, of weather patterns, of the path of a bus on a certain route. Such boundaries promote efficiency and predictability. For the same reason, people may choose to function with the boundaries of a religion or ideology (regardless of whether its principles make rational sense). Many of us during our lives have chosen or been forced to select different boundaries. Think of examples.

7. HUMANS CONSIDER THEMSELVES MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE AND WILL FIGHT OVER NATURAL CHANGES AS VICIOUSLY AS THEY FIGHT OVER CHOSEN CHANGES. IS THIS STRUGGLE SIMPLY STUPID, OR DOES IT HAVE VALUE? Some types of natural change continue at all times: e.g. climate change, genetic mutation, language change etc. The rate of change in such phenomena does vary, and the direction of change is often not predictable.

8. THINK OF EXAMPLES WHERE A FAILURE TO ALLOW LIMITED OR CYCLICAL CHANGE HAS LEAD TO BREAKDOWN. One type of change is oscillation within known boundaries. A pendulum clock oscillates in this way. if it didn't it couldn't function at all. The success of political parties, and over a longer time frame, human power structures generally, also oscillate between certain extremes. Where they don't, this has historically led to cultural sclerosis and failure. Individuals also oscillate in daily, weekly and lifetime cycles of activity. e.g. We might be highly disciplined within a work environment, but break loose or even be chaotic on weekends.

9. ARE PROFESSIONAL 'CHANGE MANAGERS' JUST PARASITES, OR DO THEY HAVE SOMETHING USEFUL TO CONTRIBUTE? WHAT WOULD THEY HAVE TO OFFER TO BE USEFUL? "Change manager" is one of the new new career titles found in industry, government and commerce. There is also a tribe calling themselves "change consultants"? Objectively, their record has often been dubious. This might or might not be inevitable.

10. CAN CHANGE AND OPPOSITION TO CHANGE REALLY BE FENCED IN BY A POLITICAL IDEOLOGY? Why do political party names so often poorly reflect the behaviour of their members? For example, a common political divide worldwide is apparently between conservatives and progressives. However, once a party name is chosen supposedly reflecting these tendencies, relatively progressive and conservative personality types cluster under EACH banner.


Comments & Extra Reading

Thor's own websites:

1. articles at ;

2. legacy site: .


Change only happens when people change their minds. (Doesn't it?) (c) Thor May 2019 return to Ddiscussion