ed hal­magyi ta­ble talk

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE -

IN food, like all cul­tural par­a­digms, fash­ions come and go. Some will in­spire, while oth­ers sim­ply en­ter­tain. But the most in­ter­est­ing part about fash­ions and trends is not their sub­stance, that’s only tem­po­rary. Rather, it is the rea­sons why some ideas gain trac­tion while oth­ers do not.

Cul­tural philoso­pher Mal­colm Glad­well pro­posed an in­trigu­ing ar­chi­tec­ture for analysing the stick­i­ness of trends, ar­gu­ing that for a fash­ion to ex­tend be­yond its in­no­va­tor, three dis­tinct per­son­al­ity types need to be­come in­volved – con­nec­tors, mavens and sales­peo­ple.

The first group have the ca­pac­ity to bring to­gether broad swathes of dis­parate groups, a task made sim­pler in our era of so­cial me­dia. The sec­ond fac­tion are the knowl­edge own­ers, in­form­ing the con­ver­sa­tion around the cen­tral theme with rel­e­vant ob­ser­va­tions that can craft an en­vi­ron­ment ripe for in­flu­ence. The last set are those who transform a con­cept shared among elite style-avatars to some­thing far broader by con­vinc­ing large chunks of our pop­u­la­tion that the idea is rel­e­vant to them as well. This can take some time, but it is the cru­cial last step. Glad­well is a bril­liant ‘peo­ple‘ peo­ple-per­son’, an au­thor who pos­sesses a deep and pro­foun pro­found un­der­stand­ing of hu­man be­hav­iour. But there is, in my opin­ion, one key el­e­ment miss­ing from his ap­proach – the role of shared his­tory. For ideas to re­ally grab hold they must sp speak at some level to th the col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence that the com­mu­nity has felt, whether at the level of na­tional iden­tity, or the cul­tural level like an ‘es­prit de co corps’. For trends bu build on trends. We ma may not al­ways see this growth, but it is ever present. For who we ar are, and will be­come, is alwa al­ways a prod­uct of who we hav have been, in­di­vid­u­ally, and tog to­gether.

Some will in­spire, while oth­ers sim­ply en­ter­tain

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