Whitaker Institute member Ronan Doyle, of the Agile and Open Innovation research cluster, has a new piece on RTÉ Brainstorm. The piece highlights the challenges of looking to the past for security during times of change.
Brexit, Orwell’s 1984 and living in liquid modernity
“In liquid modernity, we must be careful what we wish for”
Opinion: in times of change it is common for people to look to the past for a sense of security and a sense of solidity – but be careful what you wish for
Sunderland was once considered the largest shipbuilding town in the world. When the harbour was expanded in 1885 the concrete foundation stone had to be manoeuvred into place by a giant, gas-powered crane dubbed ‘Goliath’. It was an era of modernity that Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman termed ‘solid’.
And in solid modernity, size mattered.
Sunderland’s shipbuilding and coal-mining industries were triumphs of engineering and technology, of humanity’s capacity to strategically dominate and ultimately control its environment. In the US, 1885 also saw completion of the world’s first skyscraper, whose revolutionary steel frame reached all of ten stories into the Chicagoan sky. Inch by inch and space by space, modernity would shape the world to a human blueprint. Continue reading…