Though change has never been as rapid as it is today, adapting to new circumstance is so crucial to our survival that “love of the new” is hardwired into our brains at the deepest levels. The number of new things we confront – from products to information – has quadrupled in the last thirty years with no signs of slowing.
In NEW: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change, WINIFRED GALLAGHER points out that 15% of us are “neophiliacs,” biologically predisposed to passionately pursue new experiences. Another 15% are “neophobes” who resist change. Most of us fall in the middle.
WINIFRED GALLAGHER has written for magazines from The Atlantic Monthly to Rolling Stone. Her books include Just the Way You Are: How Heredity and Experience Create the Individual, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions; and Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life.
ANDREW BACEVICH, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, served twenty-three years in the U.S. Army, retiring with the rank of colonel. He also lost his son in Iraq last year. A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, he received his Ph. D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic Monthly, the Nation, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, including THE NEW AMERICAN MILITARISM; THE LIMITS OF POWER: The End of American Exceptionalism; and his newest, WASHINGTON RULES: America's Path to Permanent War.