Innovations provide new and purportedly better opportunities, but—because of their newness—they are often more uncertain and potentially worse than existing options. To use or not to use a new and promising but unfamiliar and hence uncertain innovation? That dilemma faces just about everybody. This chapter introduces the idea of an innovation dilemma and briefly surveys the following chapters. The endless possibilities for discovery and invention imply the boundlessness of our current ignorance. Brief discussion of Knightian uncertainty and Herbert Simon’s “bounded rationality” leads to the limits of optimizing the outcome of our decisions. This motivates the method of robustly satisficing critical requirements. Finally, cultures of innovation and progress are briefly described and critiqued.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.