Monday, 20 April 2015

On Bottom Up and Top Down Thinking - Part 20

20. Which works better?

Now, I’ll ask: Which produces better results in the real world? Bottom up thinking, or top down?

I suppose that, at one level, the answer will depend on who you are. If you’re high in the political or religious establishment, you’ll be better off with top down thinking, won’t you? But for ordinary people – for us human beings – it’s obvious that bottom up thinking produces better results.

For consider what has happened in times and places where top down thinking has been in the ascendant. (That is, indeed, for much of recorded history). Religious and political intolerance and repression. Nationalism, communism, fascism and other kinds of collectivism. Wars and pogroms. Misuse of law, violations of rights. Economic stagnation or even collapse. Not too pleasant, eh?

But now, consider: What if we could make bottom up thinking the norm, rather than top down? Wouldn’t it encourage tolerance, individual freedom, the rule of honest law, respect for rights, economic progress and prosperity? What human being would not prefer these things to the results of top down thinking?

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