"Discipline," the late and great Massimo Vignelli wrote, "is the attitude that helps us discern right from wrong… Discipline is what makes us responsible toward ourselves [and] toward the society in which we live." It’s a dimensional definition that touches, ever so gently, on the second meaning of discipline – not merely the act of showing up or the quality of "grit" that psychologists tell us is the greatest predictor of success, but the unflinching commitment to ourselves, to our own sense of merit and morality, to our own ideals and integrity. It’s a commitment doubly important yet doubly challenging for those in creative fields, where subjectivity is the norm and external validation the ever-haunting ghoul
It’s a pernicious genre based on one simple principle: the “idea” must be big enough to seem profound, but it mustn’t be so profound that it cannot be memorised by halfwits and used in PowerPoint presentations. The key thing, though, is that it must not, under any circumstances, be subjected to critical scrutiny.
Disruptive ideas lanced in The New Yorker, via The Guardian