New vs. Improve vs. No change

When do you stay and fight? When do you opt for a new start?

New vs. Improve vs. No change

In How to Do Nothing, Jenny Odell mentions that abandoning systems and trying to start a utopia from scratch doesn't always work, because the people that choose to start fresh will also find it easier to go somewhere else when things are challenging.

So, when should you stay and advocate for change, and when should you recognize the impossibility of change and start fresh?

It's a question that surfaces when deciding where to live and which government to live in. It happens in relationships. It happens with careers and work environments.

There might be two factors here: your time horizon; your ability to start over and choose something else.

How soon do you want/need the changes to happen for you to stay? There's a switching cost, and there's a staying cost. If the change doesn't happen within your time frame, is it still worth pushing for change?

What if the timeline you're working with is inter-generational? Is it worth staying and fighting for change then?

How much progress is happening? Momentum makes the situation more optimistic.

Is it even a choice to leave and start over?

Similar to momentum, are there allies that want the same thing?

These are choices of energy, motivation, and commitment.

Another factor might be ownership and identity. How much is it a part of you? If you were to leave it, who would you be? This conviction from identity and ownership can drive nationalistic sentiment and not-in-my-back-yard positions.

What's the difference between cultural preservation and nationalistic believes? It might be a zero-sum mindset vs. a positive-sum mindset. Where adding other cultures and people doesn't dilute, but it somehow enhances the starting circumstances.

Can you have a positive-sum mindset if you can't afford to lose? or if you've only experienced loss and disadvantages? Is a positve-sum an outcome and luxury of a higher risk tolerance because there's a bigger safety net?

You might only want the change if it benefits you and those around you.

The choices seem to be between keeping things as they are, changing them, and changing them by starting over.

There might also be differences here, between the scope of each question. If this is a national conversation, the choices are different from personal and career based choices.

The similarity between keeping things the same and starting over might be a disapproval for compromise. Their difference is in having the option to leave and start over.

The reasonable thing might be to always advocate for change and use that experience to guide whether it's more rewarding to stay vs. start over.

Starting over imply that something new will be a net-positive over the current situation. Either because the momentum of the past hasn't been sufficient, or because it might be better to start fresh to push the boundaries of what's possible.

This question also happens with maintaining any system or product. Even if you decide to start over, you also have to develop a method of change management. Without that governance, the system will stagnate, and you'll end up in the same place where to intiate any change, you have to start all over.