Accelerating novelty


To understand how novelty or new ideas can be accelerated, we'll look at insights from trusted experts on different strategies and the application of scientific discovery principles:

  1. Advancing Strategies in Warfare: discusses the historical shift from concentrated to distributed and decentralized command in military strategy. He describes how Napoleon's divisional system allowed for more flexible and distributed movement of troops. The balance between dispersion and cohesion in advancing forces, especially in the face of new technologies like atomic weapons, is essential for effective strategy. This approach underlines the importance of adaptability and decentralization in advancing new methods 1.

  2. Scientific Discovery's Wisdom: highlights that progress in science often involves failure and reassessment. Transformative changes are rare, with most advances being refinements of existing ideas rather than outright rejections. The scientific method, similar to a detective's work, involves piecing together evidence to form a broader understanding. Importantly, Rees points out that science aims to unify disparate ideas, reducing complexity and information overload, which fosters continual progress and innovation 2.

Together, these discussions suggest that accelerating novelty involves:

  • Decentralizing Command: Allowing independent yet coordinated advancements.
  • Adaptability: Continuously reassessing and adjusting strategies based on new data.
  • Refinement Over Revolution: Building on existing knowledge to extend and refine ideas rather than starting from scratch.
  • Unifying Concepts: Simplifying and integrating diverse information to foster understanding and innovation.

These principles from military strategy and scientific practice provide a framework for accelerating new ideas effectively.

Advancing Strategies

Jocko discusses the evolution of advancing strategies in warfare, from concentrated to distributed and decentralized approaches. He emphasizes the importance of decentralized command and the benefits of a divisional system. The chapter also touches on the balance between dispersion and cohesion in advancing forces, considering factors like air power and atomic weapons.

Jocko Podcast

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