To defend my fear of sudden change, I chose to believe that life was incremental, that the tiny decisions you make every day determine your fate, that your job is to captain an enormous ship subtly into ever-clearer waters. But that's not how it works at all. Life occurs in moments. You get into college. You propose. You get the job. You get cancer. You get fired. She leaves you... Because I was born in a stable country at a stable time, I falsely extrapolated that change is incremental. But if you zoom out just a little bit, you see that life is soccer, not basketball. It's revolution, invention, war. It's big bangs, exploding stars, asteroids killing the dinosaurs. Which means that all the action is in the risk taking, whether I want it to be or not.
I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I've done that sort of thing in my life, but I've always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don't know why. Because they're harder. They're much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you've completely failed.
It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. The choice is between multiplication of results using strenths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre. Focus on better use of your best weapons instead of constant repair.
The presidential candidates are offering prescriptions for everything from Iraq to healthcare, but listen closely. Their fixes are situational and incremental. Meanwhile, the underlying structural problems in American politics and government are systemic and prevent us from solving our most intractable challenges.
The things that happen are an earthquake, another bomb in Iraq, some big jolt on Wall Street in oil prices, and then you have some new study on drought patterns from climate change. Or another little incremental improvement in photovoltaics. Where do those fit in to the daily stream? They don't.
In 1975, Congress passed a law requiring fuel efficiency standards to double over 10 years, with incremental targets that auto manufacturers were required to meet. That was the responsible approach, and it worked. But since 1985, we've done nothing - even as technology has moved at light speed.
Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told.
On balance, I am a supporter of the minimum wage going up. We've got to be very careful what we wish for because some employers - and there could be a lot of them - will be scared away from hiring new people or creating incremental hours for part-time people as a result of that wage going up.
In North America, the medium-to-large publishers are generally confining investment to enhancements, upgrades and opportunities for incremental capacity and efficiency improvements, while among the smaller newspapers, there continues to be interest in systems that can provide a significant boost in production capabilities.
Often, people think, 'To get real balance, I'd have to radically change my life.' And that's not practical for many of us. But all you really need to do is make incremental change. Even making two or three relatively small changes, and freeing up a few extra hours a week, can make a huge difference.
Intellectual-property rules are clearly necessary to spur innovation: if every invention could be stolen, or every new drug immediately copied, few people would invest in innovation. But too much protection can strangle competition and can limit what economists call 'incremental innovation' - innovations that build, in some way, on others.
Real progress in understanding nature is rarely incremental. All important advances are sudden intuitions, new principles, new ways of seeing. We have not fully recognized this process of leaping ahead, however, in part because textbooks tend to tame revolutions...They describe the advances as if they had been logical in their day, not all shocking.
With regard to electric vehicles, I am all for them because most of the incremental electricity needed to run those vehicles will come from gas-fired electric generation. However, I do not believe it is wise for America to substitute dependence on foreign oil for dependence on Chinese batteries.
Responsible Development shares many practices with XP but the roots are different. Responsible Development's values are honesty, transparency, accountability and responsibility. These lead me to pairing, test-first, incremental design, continuous integration and so on because they support the values.
. . . it is worth discussing radical changes, not in the expectation that they will be adopted promptly but for two other reasons. One is to construct an ideal goal, so that incremental changes can be judged by whether they move the institutional structure toward or away from that ideal. The other reason is very different. It is so that if a crisis requiring or facilitating radical change does arise, alternatives will be available that have been carefully developed and fully explored.
As a small business or startup, one of the factors you should always consider when looking at a potential partnership is the incremental potential reach. Note that wider reach doesn't always mean a better partnership opportunity. Instead of sheer scale, take a look at which communities your potential partner can open up for you.
Like a stool which needs three legs to be stable, mathematics education needs three components: good problems, with many of them being multi-step ones, a lot of technical skill, and then a broader view which contains the abstract nature of mathematics and proofs. One does not get all of these at once, but a good mathematics program has them as goals and makes incremental steps toward them at all levels.
Liberals have a new wish every time their latest wish is granted. Conservatives should make them spell out their principles and ideals. Instead of doing this, conservatives allow liberals to pursue incremental goals without revealing their ultimate destination. So, thanks to the negligence of their opponents, liberals control the terms of every debate by always demanding 'more' while never defining 'enough.' The predictable result is that they always get more, and it's never enough.
What good the prophet in the wilderness may do is incremental and personal. It's good for us to hear someone speak the irrational truth. It's good for us when, in spite of all of the sober, pragmatic, and even correct arguments that war is sometimes necessary someone says: war is large-scale murder, us at our worst, the stupidest guy doing the cruelest thing to the weakest being.
Revelation need not all come at once. It may be incremental. 'Saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more' (2 Nephi 28:30). Patience and perseverance are part of our eternal progression.
Russell M. Nelson
Inner Awareness is often gained in incremental steps at first. The distraction of the perceived physical world dictates this. However, once one realizes this process, a new skill in 'awareness recognition' emerges... and like riding a bike for the first time, one peddles faster, gaining confidence in their new skill, a skill that will take them much farther than any distraction previously experienced
The most important form of incremental change is the decision by the individual to become vegan. Veganism, or the eschewing of all animal products, is more than a matter of diet or lifestyle; it is a political and moral statement in which the individual accepts the principle of abolition in her own life. Veganism is the one truly abolitionist goal that we can all achieve-and we can achieve it immediately, starting with our next meal.
Gary L. Francione
I think about the automobile, I think about like, when I was a kid, you know, the invention of the answering machine, which I was like, 'Wow.' Or call waiting, which was, like, very big. It was a very big thing. Call waiting was a very big thing. And these incremental innovations happen constantly.
If you look at a farmer and his daily expenditure on existing energy services, it is much higher on an incremental delta basis. And then there is an emotional cost of not providing their kids with the right to educate. If you calculate these costs in economic terms and create a financing mechanism for them to buy it, the emotional delta cost is much higher compared to their household.
My philosophy, one of the biggest enemies of future success is past success, because you become complacent, you become risk averse, and that's one of the things we try to drive here, and this is fundamental to this philosophy, and that's in this component change, and also in value creation. That we need to drive creative destruction, not just incremental innovations, but innovations that will change the whole nature of the business.
And this is how it started. Just with coffee and the exchange of their long stories. Love can be incremental. Predicaments, too. Coffee can start a life just as it can start a day. This was the meeting of two people who were destined to love from before they were born, from before they made choices that would complicate their lives. This love just rolled toward my mother as though she were standing at the bottom of a steep hill. Mother had no hand in this, only heart.
The limitations of federal laws are able to create real progress at the local level. Ultimately, to effect not just incremental progress but progress that is transformational for students, we need committed leadership - people who believe deeply that their students can achieve at the highest levels and who know how to create the conditions at the classroom, school and system level to give them the opportunities they deserve.
Incrementalism: In the first generation, the goal of the movement was wholesale social and cultural transformation. Small, incremental victories were too little given the magnitude of America's moral decay. Since 1988, the new leaders have recognized that incrementalism is the surest path to success in political competition. The current movement is committed to securing small victories now, postponing for the long-term more fundamental changes in society and politics.
Kenneth D. Wald
I know your race and mine are never on the best of terms." There was a cold smile in his voice if not on his face. "But I do only what you force me to. You rationalize, Keeton. You defend. You reject unpalatable truths, and if you can't reject them outright you trivialize them. Incremental evidence is never enough for you. You hear rumors of Holocaust; you dismiss them. You see evidence of genocide; you insist it can't be so bad. Temperatures rise, glaciers melt-species die-and you blame sunspots and volcanoes. Everyone is like this, but you most of all. You and your Chinese Room. You turn incomprehension into mathematics, you reject the truth without even knowing what it is.
Please don't make the mistake of thinking that the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. That is a recent, stupid and damaging idea. You don't have to be unscientific to make beautiful art or to write beautiful things... science is not a body of knowledge or a belief system, it is just a term that describes humankind's incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome. The arts and sciences need to work together to improve how knowledge is communicated.
The big picture is: the main thing you should be concerned about in the future are incremental returns on capital going forward. As it turns out, past history of a good return on capital is a good proxy for this but obviously not foolproof. I think this is an area where thoughtful analysis can add value to any simple ranking/screening strategy such as the magic formula. When doing in depth analysis of companies, I care very much about long term earnings power, not necessarily so much about the volatility of that earnings power but about my certainty of "normal" earnings power over time.
Please don't make the mistake of thinking the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. That is a recent, stupid, and damaging idea. You don't have to be unscientific to make beautiful art, to write beautiful things. If you need proof: Twain, Adams, Vonnegut, McEwen, Sagan, Shakespeare, Dickens. For a start. You don't need to be superstitious to be a poet. You don't need to hate GM technology to care about the beauty of the planet. You don't have to claim a soul to promote compassion. Science is not a body of knowledge nor a system of belief; it is just a term which describes humankind's incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome.
Today's Republican Party... is an insurgent outlier. It has become ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition, all but declaring war on the government. The Democratic Party, while no paragon of civic virtue, is more ideologically centered and diverse, protective of the government's role as it developed over the course of the last century, open to incremental changes in policy fashioned through bargaining with the Republicans, and less disposed to or adept at take-no-prisoners conflict between the parties. This asymmetry between the parties, which journalists and scholars often brush aside or whitewash in a quest for "balance, " constitutes a huge obstacle to effective governance.
Thomas E. Mann
If we are ever going to see a paradigm shift, we have to be clear about how we want the present paradigm to shift. We must be clear that veganism is the unequivocal baseline of anything that deserves to be called an 'animal rights' movement. If 'animal rights' means anything, it means that we cannot morally justify any animal exploitation; we cannot justify creating animals as human resources, however 'humane' that treatment may be. We must stop thinking that people will find veganism 'daunting' and that we have to promote something less than veganism. If we explain the moral ideas and the arguments in favor of veganism clearly, people will understand. They may not all go vegan immediately; in fact, most won't. But we should always be clear about the moral baseline. If someone wants to do less as an incremental matter, let that be her/his decision, and not something that we advise to do. The baseline should always be clear. We should never be promoting 'happy' or 'humane' exploitation as morally acceptable.
Gary L. Francione
WHY PARADIGMS MATTER Ideas drive results. People's beliefs drive their actions. Actions that stem from a simple, complete and accurate paradigm result in personal fulfillment, harmonious relationships, and economic prosperity. Actions based on false, incomplete and inaccurate paradigms, however well intended or passionately defended, are the cause of widespread misery, suffering and deprivation. As detailed in Rethinking Survival: Getting to the Positive Paradigm of Change, a fatal information deficit explains the worldwide leadership deficit and related budget deficits. In a dangerous world where psychological and economic warfare compete with religious extremism and terrorism to undo thousands of years of incremental human progress, a healing balance is urgently needed. Restoring a simple, complete and accurate paradigm of leadership and relationships now could make the difference between human survival on the one hand, and the extinction of the human race (or the end of civilization as we know it), on the other. p. 7.
Patricia E. West
Yet each disappointment Ted felt in his wife, each incremental deflation, was accompanied by a seizure of guilt; many years ago, he had taken the passion he felt for Susan and folded it in half, so he no longer had a drowning, helpless feeling when he glimpsed her beside him in bed: her ropy arms and soft, generous ass. Then he'd folded it in half again, so when he felt desire for Susan, it no longer brought with it an edgy terror of never being satisfied. Then in half again, so that feeling desire entailed no immediate need to act. Then in half again, so he hardly felt it. His desire was so small in the end that Ted could slip it inside his desk or a pocket and forget about it, and this gave him a feeling of safety and accomplishment, of having dismantled a perilous apparatus that might have crushed them both. Susan was baffled at first, then distraught; she'd hit him twice across the face; she'd run from the house in a thunderstorm and slept at a motel; she'd wrestled Ted to the bedroom floor in a pair of black crotchless underpants. But eventually a sort of amnesia had overtaken Susan; her rebellion and hurt had melted away, deliquesced into a sweet, eternal sunniness that was terrible in the way that life would be terrible, Ted supposed, without death to give it gravitas and shape. He'd presumed at first that her relentless cheer was mocking, another phase in her rebellion, until it came to him that Susan had forgotten how things were between them before Ted began to fold up his desire; she'd forgotten and was happy - had never not been happy - and while all of this bolstered his awe at the gymnastic adaptability of the human mind, it also made him feel that his wife had been brainwashed. By him.
Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills-when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It's only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes-bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses' virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety-you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade. We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off. And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one's name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.
Catherynne M. Valente