The Shirky Principle

Kevin Kelly comments on this recent quote by Clay Shirky that he dubs the Shirky Principle:

"Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution."


From Clay Shirky's blog post on "The Collapse of Complex Business Models":


"When ecosystems change and inflexible institutions collapse, their members disperse, abandoning old beliefs, trying new things, making their living in different ways than they used to. 

It’s easy to see the ways in which collapse to simplicity wrecks the glories of old. 

But there is one compensating advantage for the people who escape the old system: when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future."

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