Everyone knows about the Great Wall of China, but few know how it was built. The wall was actually first built as separate small walls by six different states. The walls were a defensive measure against warring states and a variety of invaders such as the Huns. During the Qin Dynasty after the six states unified, the emperor Qin Shihuang gave the order to connect the separate walls in order to provide maximum security. Dynasties that followed the Qin Dynasty continued to expand the wall
During the lecture Joel talked about how we are adaptive creatures but as centuries pass we lost our ability to think about long term infrastructure projects. Over time because of our adaptiveness we began make change based on responses and not necessary plan while thinking about the future. I agreed with Joel while I thought of the Great Wall of China. I heard that it took many centuries for the wall to be built and I thought, “those people from long ago could plan long-term, why not us?” However when I researched about the Great Wall of China, I was wrong. The Great Wall of China was also an infrastructure project based on response to change. The wall was made as what it is today due to additional short-term planning over time, not long-term planning. In order words, the wall was just so happen to be lucky to be made into what grand structure it is today.
I wonder if people will ever become non-adaptive and stop responding to changes. We can’t. Even if we come up with the most awesome, perfect long-term plan, because of our adaptiveness, we can’t help but bring changes to those long-term projects. We want results now and we’re too impatient to wait on a project and too selfish to think about the future. We’re short sighted. Perhaps it is also because we are insecure: it’s hard to know when a project will be beneficial or not. Maybe because the world is constantly telling us the project needs to perfect and that it can’t accept failure. Maybe we need to start accepting failures and weaknesses of people before we move on to creating long term projects.
Source: How Stuff Works
Global Issue: Adaptive Strategy
Primary Design Lens: Adaptation
Secondary Design Lens: Long term projects vs short term projects