Tuesday, January 3, 2017


This series is inspired by the "Words From
Unity" public service announcements
that ran on television (particularly in
Kansas City) in the 1970's and 80's.
I'm annoyed by this trend of people taking words with negative connotations and making them into positive adjectives. "Sick" is one of those words. So is "ridiculous." But I have special gripes for those who have turned "disruptive" into a paradigm of trendiness.

A March 2015 edition of Doonesbury points this out beautifully. In the last five years, "disruptive" has become a catch-all for anything new, unusual or different that has to be great simply because it's new, unusual or different, or something that does so in a new, unusual or different way. Quality or effectiveness does not enter into the equation. Simply being different is value in and of itself.

If value doesn't matter anymore, anything goes. Thus we end up with a plate full of bad ideas that became good because they were "disruptive." So what, you may argue, if there's one good idea in the pile -- it's a numbers game. Not when the bar is artificially lower.

When I was a child, people got in trouble at school for being "disruptive" in class. Please don't tell me it's the latest educational trend, designed to shake the stodginess out of the learning experience and provide an exciting, dynamic new model.

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