Chris OʼBrien
460 - 70
MOvie PapEr Device
 Spring 2010

What are the 4 Elements of Diffusion? (tt2)

The Four Elements of ...
Chris OʼBrien
460 - 70
MOvie PapEr Device
 Spring 2010

Innovation-Decision Process (tt4)
What process a person go through...
Chris OʼBrien
460 - 70
MOvie PapEr Device
 Spring 2010

Consequences of Innovations (tt7)
How would you measure the outcom...
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O Brien, Christopher 460 Moped

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O Brien, Christopher 460 Moped

  1. 1. Chris OʼBrien 460 - 70 MOvie PapEr Device Spring 2010 What are the 4 Elements of Diffusion? (tt2) The Four Elements of Diffusion are 1) Innovation: An idea is introduced into a society, 2) Communication: information regarding the innovation is spread throughout a society by either personal relationships or media, 3) Time: People have experiences and make decisions to use, modify, accept or reject the innovation, and 4) Social System: The way in which thought leaders and peers form an adoptive culture to either embrace or reject innovation. I believe Pirate Radio aptly displays all Four Elements of Diffusion with regards to societal adoption of Pop Music. British Radio Stations were restricted to playing certain forms of music, with Pop Music being noticeably absent from the airwaves. But Pop record sales were strong, so there had to be a public demand for the music. Dedicated music enthusiasts met the marketʼs need by broadcasting to millions of British home from International Waters off the coast of England. Word quickly spread and within one year more than 20 million people were listening and the number of pirate radio ships quickly grew. The government (without regard for the societyʼs adoption choice) was rejecting Pop Music through legislation. To ultimately win the legislative battle to reject Pop Music, the government went after the one thing that would make pop music explode in the 1970s, advertising. In the movie, the social system prevailed by ultimately saving the crew and reaffirming their choices to adopt the new innovation. But in real life, the social system prevailed in that it convinced the Opinion Leaders to adopt the technology by showing that the number of potential customers justified a business solution (with the opinion leaders ultimately profiting from the impending commercialization of Pop Artists) Innovation-Development Process (tt3) What process does an innovation go through as it is developed from inception through diffusion? The innovation Development process is the “life-cycle” of an innovation. The six phase process entails Need/Problem recognition, Research of various solutions, Development of an applicable solution, commercialization (in which the innovation is manufactured), Diffusing of the technology into society and the inevitable consequences of the innovation. Iron Man has a nicely condensed Innovation-Development Process right in the middle of the movie. As Tony Stark, the weapons manufacturer is held hostage and forced to build a superweapon he quickly identifies a problem in need of an innovative solution... He doesn’t want to die and needs to escape in order to avoid that fate. He then sets about researching a solution (through talking with his ‘assistant’ while assessing all of the parts intended for use in the superbomb) and developing a applicable solution, an impenetrable suit (and he prevents “unintended diffusion” surreptitiously drawing the plans in the form of numerous sketches disguised as bomb parts!) He then commercializes his suit by beginning to building each of the pieces. Faced with an aggressive timeline for delivery of his super weapon, by the nefarious terrorist project manager. He is forced to adopt his innovation right away and ‘diffuse’ it into society with little testing and absolutely no time for any market studies! Creation of the suit leads to unintended consequences in which he battles with his legacy, his finances, his company and his country.
  2. 2. Chris OʼBrien 460 - 70 MOvie PapEr Device Spring 2010 Innovation-Decision Process (tt4) What process a person go through as they determine whether to accept or reject an innovation? A person would go through the Innovation Decision Process. They would first gain knowledge of an innovation as Sarah Connor did when Kyle told her about the Terminator that was trying to kill her to prevent her from giving birth to a future Revolutionary. They would then form an attitude towards the innovation. Sarah chose to outright reject the existence of the Terminator. She rejected the innovation and the aide of the innovation (Kyle, the dude that told her.) Eventually the Terminator helps Kyle’s case by generally being himself and attempting to kill Sarah. Faced with this new found information, forms a general attitude of dislike and pursues a course of action which would suggest she has rejected the innovation. She then confirms this rejection with Kyle and he says “Told ya so.” Innovativeness and Adopter Categories & Diffusion Networks (tt6a & tt6b) How does word of an innovation make its way through society? An innovation diffuses into society through communication in “diffusion networks” which are either public (internet forums, news broadcasts) or private means of communications, like opinion leaders (journalists) The information usually transmits in clusters amongst like objects (homophily) or people (rich people talk to other rich people, internet posters take a link from one site and post to another). To really gain critical mass for an innovation however, news MUST be shared amongst unlike objects (heterophily.) in other words, the innovation must pass from the highest rungs of societies down to the lowest rungs. Agents and aides must bring across social circles to spread the innovation and gain mass adoption. I believe “The Road to Wellville” excellently depicted the struggle of innovating within a homophilic society. J.H. Kellogg was a man ahead of his time. He believed in a rigorous and vigorous life in which the body was treated as a machine and was routinely cleansed and fed fuel in order to perform at its capacity. As a man with such beliefs is wont to do, he took to forcing his opinion on others. Kellogg opens an exclusive Sanitarium (read: “Health Club”) in which like minded rich people come to get healthy. He subjects his clientele to numerous innovations such as breathing exercises, abstinence, vegetarianism and daily enemas. Many of his innovations were praised by early adapter clientele... and later, new clientele would not speak of their disappointment of certain therapies for fear of being considered a non-believer. His homophilic society lead him to think that his innovations were much more accepted than they really were in society. And because he received so much reassurance of his ideas he never thought to “branch out” and includes other treatments that may have helped other segments of society, thus very few of his innovations (save for maybe Corn Flakes) were able to cross social circles and gain critical mass.
  3. 3. Chris OʼBrien 460 - 70 MOvie PapEr Device Spring 2010 Consequences of Innovations (tt7) How would you measure the outcome of a society adopting a given innovation? The Consequences of an innovation are measured through their impact on the society. Did the innovation raise the overall Level of Good in the society? If it did, did it then have equal impact amongst the Haves and Have-nots? Characteristics of Consequences can be in terms of desirability; Whether or not the innovation provided beneficial effects, directness; Did the innovation have an immediate impact or did it cause something else to happen that then had an impact on society, and Anticipation; Are the results what the innovator had intended and does society understand those results? I, Robot demonstrates many consequences of innovations, one of which is the consequence of creating the Three Laws of Robotics. When Dr. Lanning created the Three Laws, his intent was to enable the safe creation of robots by providing guiding instructions to ensure they would never turn against humans. Everyone loved the immediate effects of the Three Laws as it enabled society to let go of their fears of Artificial Intelligence and it created a market for manufacture of subservient robots. Robots of all manner were created to serve all aspects and classes of society. A Policeman could have one as a partner and a grandma could have one as a sous-chef. The indirect results were not quite as utopian. The Three Laws enabled Artificial Intelligence and that intelligence was then able to study it’s own short-comings and in a way, be more human (in terms of ego, greed, maliciousness and cold logic( than humans were ever able to be. Certainly, Unintended by the innovator.

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