Re: Is speed/technology really progress? LO24

Tobin Quereau (
Mon, 6 Feb 1995 12:47:37 -0600 (CST)

I was very much in agreement with your comments on the need for
integration as well as diversity in new technology applications (and in
life!). The Swiss psychologist, Piaget, contributes greatly to this notion
as wel l when he speaks of the learning process being a balance of _and_
accommodation. I have been a fan of Csikzentmihalyi's work for years, and
think his model is very accessible and persuasive.

I had one hesitation, however, in associating "complexity" and survival in
a business or organizational sense. Some of the most "complex"
corporations are finding it absolutely necessary to "simplify" in order to
survive these days. Perhaps what Csikzentmihalyi is pointing to is not
"complexity" (i.e. bureaucracy and size) in and of itself, but more of an
"openess and engagement" with a wider range of external and internal
stimuli. In other words, the organism must still remain flexible and
responsive enough to the environment that it adapts to changes that occur
rather than being too resistant and rigid--what Piaget refers to as a
"dynamic balance" rather than a static and structural one.

The greater range of complex information and behavior that can be
incorporated and expressed the better, and sometimes that suggests a
radical simplicity in design and process. Does this sound paradoxical
enough for the post-modern world??

Thanks for the stimulating comments in your posting.

Tobin Quereau
Austin Community College
Austin, Texas