> To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

Great quote!

To me that’s a reason to strive for cognitive diversity. I may not understand the usefulness of fence A but you might understand it; and vice versa for fence B. It’s only by working together that we can understand which fences are still useful.

That’s my concern with some climate activists. They want to clear fences (eg no more drilling) but I’m not sure they’re understand why they exist (eg nitrogen fertilizers and food security). Worse, they seem intent on limiting the range of viewpoints, for instance many are incensed that COP28 is held in the UAE.

> This of it this way


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Great post. I am thinking about the old Zuckerberg/ FB saw about "move fast and break thing." Chesterton's Fence promotes a more cautious and reflective approach, Zuckerberg's concept encouraged a dynamic and iterative mindset. Fences prioritize understanding and preserving existing structures, whereas Zuck focuses on pushing boundaries and embracing change. I think it is great to be able to hold both ideas in tension and slowly create gates.

NB - I think Zuck and FB have matured their thinking and C Fences are all over FB nowadays.

So - one vote PRO Fences.

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I worry about the “tried that, didn’t work” attitude that you often see in people approaching their mid career point.

By this time in their career they will have probably seen a couple of crises, dealt with a redundancy and found frustration in an industry they once loved.The thing is, an idea or an approach often needs to find its time. The right conditions for success need to be in place.

Sometimes, these points in time can allow traditions to be swept aside and a new approach ushered in. So, never give up on an idea, it’s time my yet come.

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