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Newspeak: was (Re: Today's jaw dropper)

Dewey warned me that I, a philospher, was emailing to physicists. In spite
of his caution, I find the responses very appropriate and challenging, I
would rather talk to physicists than philosophers on this topic.

Richard, it has been my experience that most physicists rather enjoy
philosophers. It is not without pride that I look at my degree and it says
Doctor of Philosophy and not "Doctor of Physics". In some of my more odd
moments, I tend to refer to myself not as a physicist, but as a student of
natural philosophy.

In effect, Brian separates the questions of innovation from being a good
teacher, a good researcher, or a model of moral behavior. With the
advantage of having his comments, I would rephrase my comments to suggest
that creativity/innovativeness/...

Richard unwittedly allowed an opening for another expression of a pet-peeve.

The word INNOVATIVE and its relatives. I have now seen this word encroach
its way into advertisements for positions of employment.

The word is increasingly used, particularly in educational circles (but not
exclusive to them) as a synonym for some combination of (good, creative,
excellent). And it is considered to be a good thing on one's Professional
Evaluations to be called innovative. The inevitable result is that I see
changes taking place simply for the sake of innovation. A typical example
being the new dean who comes in institutes changes (often for the worse),
pads their resume with how they instituted all of these "wonderful"
innovations and leaves after 2-4 years; leaving everyone else to pick up the
pieces. (Fill in your on favorite scenario here).

The word refers to change and newness; and as such is value neutral. An
innovation can be either good or bad or indifferent and is not good in and
of itself merely for the fact of being innovative.

I would go so far to say that most innovation, because it typically is new
and experimental are often bad. Most experiments fail.

This is not meant to be a polemic against change, but rather against
willy-nilly, ill thought-out change; which is what I observe all to often.

OTOH, while I said most experiments fail, the successful ones usually occur
after repeated effort of failed experiments; which would tend to argue for
innovation, even if you know that most of the time its bad.

Please excuse the polemic