Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good Dogma?

In general I'm pretty anti-dogma. I find the inflexibility in thinking frustrating. Adherence to principles in the face of reality is laudable, but only to a point. Beyond that point is what I've been calling dogma.

In software, I've mostly seen this happen when the line between process and dogma gets blurred.

But then I read an article in a totally non-software related forum that asserts that dogma can be good. It's a short read, but to paraphrase, the article states that there are two types of dogma. The first type is pure resistance to change; this one is pretty much always bad. The second type, though, is creating an idea and sticking to it long enough to see if it succeeds. This one can have power.

I think there's a valid point there. I don't know that I would have called this dogmatism, but the notion that you have to stick through with an ideal at least long enough to see that it's worth something. And sometimes that means sticking with the idea even in the face of current reality - if it works out, we call that innovation.

So where's the line between innovation and dogma?

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