7 Comments
May 25, 2023Liked by Charlie Becker

woo A new viral word in the making.

Expand full comment

It reads really great! I am glad I could help!

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2023Liked by Charlie Becker

It was interesting to read this alongside your thoughts on chestnut trees (https://charliebecker.substack.com/p/a-dirge-for-eastern-redwoods)! The final lines there feel just as relevant here: understanding the past "is the only way to be free to decide who we can be"

Expand full comment

It's also called the "Semmelweis Reflex," after a doctor who, before germ theory, figured out that doing autopsies right before childbirth was a bad idea. He forced everyone to wash their hands in between, which lowered the death rate dramatically, but everyone hated him for it and they eventually forced him into an insane asylum.

Expand full comment
founding
May 30, 2023Liked by Charlie Becker

An interesting inversion on Chesterton’s Fence. I personally am a fan of not messing with things until you know why they are the way they are. However, too many people don’t actually ask the question and just keep doing things the way they have always been done.

I saw this in the Air Force all the time. Mediocre leaders did things this way. Terrible leaders changed things just for the sake of changing them and getting their name on something. The best leaders asked “why do we do it this way?” for every process, and only changed things if it made sense.

Expand full comment
author

Yes! I absolutely think that the inverse can be just as bad. Innovation for the sake of innovation is rarely good and usually harmful. The syndrome is the ignorance that comes from not asking questions about the behavior, not necessarily the behavior—a distinction I will play up next time I revisit this idea.

Expand full comment

Small Oven Syndrome definitely is easier to say than "filiopietism." I saw this phenomena quite often during my Corporate career and it drove me crazy. I love that you wrote this!

Expand full comment