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Title: The Strategic Integration of Dissent
Author: David J Larkin
Keywords: Strategic Integration, Dissent, Innovation, Disruption
Created: December, 2015

•Mindset and arrogance present a formidable barrier to the dissemination of ideas, in particular, dangerous ideas that challenge orthodox opinion at its core. Theory evaluation and, consequently, theory change demand engagement, listening, and dispassionate reflection. Indeed, an informed reflection, cognisant of the philosophical-limitations that stalk reason.

Conceptual difficulties attend the evaluative notions of objectivity, truth, verification, falsification, and consistency. Indeed, with respect to the evaluative notion of consistency, Kuhn (1996) noted that "philosophers of science have repeatedly demonstrated that more than one theoretical construction can always be placed upon a given collection of data". [1] Furthermore, without a prescriptive consensus of meaning and interpretation, the (arguably) subjective evaluative-framework comprised of the evaluative-notions of simplicity, coherence, utility, and extensibility is, in outcome, similarly problematic.

Too much of what is written is written. And arguably, too much of what is written is nonsense. But how do we decide what is, and what is not, nonsense? And who decides? Copernicus and Galileo—dissident theorists, vilified by orthodoxy—criticised what they regarded as nonsense, the received wisdom, the consensus opinion that placed a stationary flat-earth at the centre of the known universe. Clearly, the answer is not merely (simply or routinely) to acquiesce to consensus. What is clear, furthermore, is the need for the strategic integration, or normalisation, of dissent into the evaluative process.

Dissent may be innovative or disruptive in its exposition and exploration of the possibility. The potential impost of the institutional exclusion of dissent is mediocrity. And a prerequisite to the strategic integration of dissent is the personal recognition, acceptance, and public-acknowledgment—of each and every one—of the vulnerability to mindset and arrogance.

NOTES (click the list-number for any additional link)
1. Kuhn, T.S., 1996, The structure of scientific revolutions, 3rd ed., University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
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