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Human factors and innovation processes


Human factors and innovation processes


My aspects focus primarily on a specific, though by no means insignificant, aspect of innovation processes. However, although I will not delve into it, I must make the following remark. Here, I would like to highlight aspects that are primarily relevant to innovation.

The development of mankind has always attracted those prone to wisdom. Is humanity evolving, can its causes and direction be determined?

I do not want to go into the depths of philosophy, but it is necessary to note that at the beginning of the 19th century one of the most striking statements can be attributed to Marx's name. it is determined by the development of productive forces, which is determined primarily by the combined and interacting evolution of man (not individuals but groups) and the means of production (although Marx did not emphasize this). He conceived of historical development as, on the one hand, the constant development of the "productive forces", that is, of the means of production and technology created by the human labor force and man. The social revolution, which is not always a short-term process with sudden, large-scale changes, but often a longer period, is forced by the development of productive forces.


At the same time, the concept of “productive power” has expanded. Today, in many respects, not only “clean” technical results are seen as innovation, but also production organization processes that support production.


My previous remark on innovation as a specific human activity thus goes beyond the view that the development of the productive forces determines everything. . Historians and archaeologists often associate change with the appearance of certain technologies and tools: from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, the invention of the wheel, the mill and the steam engine, and the atom are the significant timepieces.

So in a row:

1. Is man himself evolving?

• as a biological formation (creature), somewhat likely due to better nutritional and living conditions, but it is also likely that due to the nature of the formation, this physical development is limited. There will be an average height of 220 cm, you can't really overcome the lack of gravity, etc. Physically, it has gotten a little bigger, but the limitations are now visible. This biological formation (construction) has probably reached the limits of its possibilities based on the height and weight of today's man.


• There have been significant improvements in physical performance, especially in sport, but there will be limitations. At the same time, the sport itself is innovating, new branches are emerging and technology is evolving.

• Of course, the average of humanity has grown tremendously over its lifetime, but it is likely that the “invention” of eternal life will take some time.


• it is also a mental formation, so does the brain capacity develop, etc. Biologists show that the dog may have evolved precisely in connection with its coexistence with humans and breeding activities. At the same time, this cannot be demonstrated so clearly in humans, it is also probable that the intellectual capacity of a person who lived and worked 4-5,000 years ago may not be significantly lower than that of today.

• there is a Hungarian saying, mainly in relation to adult training and short-term training actions: “head dilation”. They are obviously researching whether the human head is “expanding,” i.e., whether the brain is expanding, in what direction. But the reality is that people with very good brain capacity lived 3-4,000 thousand years ago.


• for example: I personally would eye a caterpillar for the rest of my life, never figure out how to turn it into a silk scarf. I don't think I'm likely to invent the wheel, etc. Honestly, I wouldn’t even be able to track and monitor the position of the stars for decades. But it is conceivable that a person’s mental capacity will also change, which requires special studies. But the change in intellectual activity is precisely the specific human activities: art, and so on. can be tracked through. This is why a broader interpretation of innovation processes than in technical areas is needed.

• In addition to general human skills, the ability to learn and research has a prominent role in innovation processes. In order for a simple biological being to survive, it must know its environment, and even a slightly more complex organism must be able to find out about its environment, collect and process as much information as possible, and use it. Moreover, it may not be an exaggeration to be able to even make some “forecast”: the gazelle jumps to the right or the lion’s dinner depends on it, the weather forecast is also there and works in many animals and even humans. So the ability to search for, process and research information in humans can be traced back to its roots.


• Mentally, an approx. There were already possibilities in people who lived 4-5,000 years ago that might only become apparent later. The maximum speed of a person walking is 40 km / h, keeping this pace for 10 seconds. On the other hand, just keep in mind that an average person (average people get a license) can drive and drive at speeds of 120-130 km / h in any case, but even at speeds of 150-160 km / h. A driver (competitor) with extreme abilities can catch and act even at speeds of 300 - 350 km / h. Not to mention the special ones, which are capable of operating at multiples of the speed of sound. In order for this endowment of the human brain to be revealed, the car, the jet-powered plane, had to be invented. So there may even be “dependent” features of such a technique that are still little known or exploited. Within this, primarily creative factors may be of interest.

2. Specific human capabilities are of paramount importance for innovation processes in the broadest sense. Such human abilities and endowments should be thought of as the ability to know the environment, the ability to change the environment, i.e. the ability to be creative. These specific intellectual endowments and abilities can be reviewed at the individual level and at the group level. From the point of view of innovation processes in a broad sense, the ability to get to know and research is of paramount importance. This is an innate trait of the human race and at the same time carried over from earlier stages of development.



• Human creativity does not have a uniform indicator, intelligence quotients can be approximated somewhat, but general wisdom is only a factor for someone to invent or invent something, to be innovative

• Individual differences still largely follow the logic of species survival: either at the group level or individually. The majority show following behavior. Mass psychology researchers say even the proportions can be determined from 75% to the following and 25% to the skeptical. This layer, in my opinion, is a layer capable of innovation, because it is also necessary for survival to have a sufficient number of people who also recognize the need for change.

• Identifying and selecting individuals who are able to renew and manage it is not an easy task. We do not know the selection process as to who could only carry the stone on the pyramid construction, who became the director and who invented the construction. Essentially, only since the introduction of compulsory and general education systems has there been a way and opportunity to manage these selection processes substantially and effectively.

• At the same time, throughout history, there have always been those who have been selected in some way. But so far we have not been able to fully identify this process. In the literature, so-called family novels attempt to outline this process. I will give one example: the Bach family.

The first significant member of the family, thanks to a well-functioning record system in the 18th century, was Bach's father, who was already active in the art of music. His eighth-born son, Johann Sebastian, was also involved in the art of music, along with several of his brothers, but Sebastian Bach became a music innovator and put it on a new footing. Sebastian Bach Many of his children also played music, but no longer reached the paternal level. In the 20th century, despite the fact that the registration system has only improved, none of the descendants of the Bach family can be identified and is not attached to music. The gene is extinct and eliminated.

With the sons of Bach, the musicians of the famous family faded. The last descendant of Johann Sebastian Bach, a straight man, was Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach (1759-1845). The Bach branch of Meiningen and Ohrdruf still exists today, and in 1937 the Bach’ser Familienverband für Thüringen - the Bach Family Society for Thuringia - was established. However, he is not a professional musician among 20th-century Bachs

Anyway, similar family careers can be lined up, and it should be almost a rule that among the descendants of a person with a prominent and special genetic trait, the trait is no longer necessarily typical. The solution to this problem is yet to come for geneticists.


• At the same time, it is precisely due to randomness and difficulty in determining that individual creativity will always remain an opportunity throughout the innovation process. Individual ideas, individual solutions, individual genius always remain. As an example, I cite the Rubik's Cube from Hungary, which was an individual invention, or, for example, the small innovation that was used in a demonstration to have those present lit up with their mobile phones. Obviously, other innovations can be brought in from other countries where the individual path is crucial. And so it can be assumed that there will always be garages.

• Rapidly evolving genetic research and psychology research can provide a more accurate answer to many things. However, just think of how random a “genius” suitable for special thinking and intellectual activity appears, and then the ability disappears within a generation or two.

4. Group effect:


While an individual forecast is difficult to identify, a group is not: we mean well-defined and descriptive groups, such as countries, regions, municipalities, or a set of them. Creativity at the social group level, on the other hand, is actually approachable at some level, especially in more modern societies. It is obvious that there are more creative societies (countries, regions, categories of settlements) and less creative, these differences could be measured and detected even at the level of the country and the region, and even to some extent at the level of the settlement.


• Societies 4-5,000 years ago already had the basic task and function of researching, putting knowledge on a theoretical basis and, if possible, anticipating it: astrological observations were made, the results were recorded, and they were also somewhat predictable. were, etc.


• In fact, there was already a difference in the propensity to innovate in early societies: it was possible to delineate geographically where the overall social impact was to assess, trigger the willingness to learn more deeply and to innovate. Geographically, I think societies operating in a changing environment are the ones that are more likely to sweat out novelties precisely because of adaptation.


• It can be said with certainty that there are differences between smaller and larger communities (social communities, regional or even countries), which is determined by differences not only in abilities, but also in opportunities, upbringing, socialization and the social environment. This statement applies not only to a “general creativity”, but also to characteristics, special endowments, such as musical talent, artistic talent, which presuppose the existence of certain specific abilities in addition to general intelligence.

• Another factor is that with the development of “productive forces”, research itself has become more professional, massive and measurable, and industrialized. It is possible to create a large, independent individual, but the main blow of innovation processes has become the group, industry-organized and market-oriented activity, which is based on the systematic cooperation of many people, especially highly qualified ones, and requires and attracts very large financial resources.

• Research activity and its effectiveness are measured, compared, etc. International and more or less unified databases facilitate process analysis.


• Specifically, the data series of the European Union measuring and analyzing the so-called R&D processes have been expanded with the collection of data on digitization. For example, in the European Union, 1.89 million people were identified in the research sector in 2020, employed 546,000 more than 10 years earlier. It also indicates the dynamics of the sector. The number of full-time researchers in Greece, Hungary and Poland has doubled in these ten years. (exactly 41,800, 42,000 and 124,400 people in these countries, respectively).


• It would not be particularly tiring to include those working in other fields of research.

II. Will the lion have dinner?


Can you predict where the gazelle will jump? Somewhat, at some level, most of the more advanced organisms have some kind of predictive power about their environment, Understanding when the weather is changing and acting accordingly, Understanding when terrible disasters are approaching (earthquake, volcanic eruption). To some extent, even man is capable of this. But, as his astronomical observations are set in stone, it points out that even in early human societies, there was an additional need for foresight in simple physical intuition. As societies have become more complex, this need has intensified as professional foresighters have been employed. Planning as an activity has also evolved, the need for foresight and common sense has given rise to the need for foresight of imminent disasters (this need was already evident in ancient construction), but by the early to mid-19th century they had gone beyond disaster prevention. the human environment has already been altered and shaped with foresight. In addition to city plans, economic plans and plans that affect the lives and well-being of the population have also been developed and operated.

The culmination, of course, was when it was proclaimed that almost every activity in a country should be planned with foresight, but this only worked for a few decades. At the same time, a number of planning and methodological materials were developed in this connection, including mathematical and statistical methods, so it cannot be said that planning and foresight would not be scientifically substantiated. But there is a lack of planning.

Most mathematical-statistical methods use probabilities that inherent certain risks.


Two things are certain about innovation processes. The human definiteness of innovation processes can be traced back to two things: there is a human rationality, a desire for rationality that can often be traced back to its roots, and there is something that is very difficult to identify, intuition. The general human rationality is that most innovations are widely accepted but by all but most people. Think of e.g. to the grinding of clothing or to the tremendous success of modern telecommunications, to the mobile phone, as it is an elementary need to establish and keep in touch with other people, or to the development of the means of transport that have enabled and enables the cognition of all people. This is all inherent human rationality. The emotional attitude is similar somewhat, no matter how we see a person from a different culture, we see that he loves his child, we understand that he eats food that tastes good, and so on. So the main thrust of the development of innovation will always be determined by such a broader sense of human rationality and feeling.

I can only repeat here what I really mean by human rationality, in line with what is written in the article “Innovation and Mathematics”. At the level of the individual, human rationality is a set of three (or, more broadly, four) interconnected, intricately connected. In fact, it is the task of trained research psychologists to clarify these connections accurately.


• thought process

• emotional reactions (at least two types)

• Unconscious effects

 This is the individual level, to which is added a wider circle:

• the social environment of the period, including expectations, as well as the narrower and wider geographical environment

• There are invisible, possibly inherited urges, qualities that are realized (or not) in the given environment

So these are several well-distinguishable levels, but they are closely related and in a complex system of relationships. Certain statistical characteristics can be used to outline the characteristics of each array, and even to model the relationship between them.

To give a concrete example. The individual wants to perpetuate himself in the long run (we don’t know this urge in the animal kingdom yet) with his actions, its physical realization, and his own physical nature. The man is best represented by his face, of course. Along this line, the Roman emperors already have portraits of the statue, probably more or less lifelike. With the development of painting, the development of accurate and realistic, lasting painting solutions, it has become available to more and more people to at least capture their portraits. The development of photography in the middle of the 19th century and its rapid technical and technical development made it possible for more and more people, even the less affluent, to capture themselves. Technical development has been accompanied by spatial, including settlement-level, spread. By the beginning of the twentieth century, he was a photographer on a small town level with a population of 5-8,000, who produced individual and group images in an expert way, and this activity became a business. The accessibility of the settlement made it possible for another human activity, namely the administration, to photograph the official documents, thus renewing this branch of the administration. Photographic identification also played a role in law enforcement. However, it is already possible to see which countries introduced these measures. “Human desires” and advances in technology have interacted. Today, the camera built into digital devices has opened up huge horizons for the individual to present his or her own life, the environment around him or her, and what is happening in it.

An additional addition is that there are even deeper impulses that affect the complexity of innovation processes. The living space and its protection, and even if it is possible to expand it, has even deeper roots. In man, this task has always been the driving force behind innovation processes. In order to produce a good arrow and arrow, and later a good cannon, rifle, atomic bomb, drone, and other military equipment, good quality raw materials, good quality machinery, and even skilled man are needed. For a long time, the view was valid that the military industry was in fact at the forefront of innovation. This aspect has survived to this day.

At the same time, it can now be assumed that the space industry and even the digital industry, and not only the healthcare industry, are independent and determinants of innovation processes, so to speak, their engines, which may mean a small shift in the way humanity thinks.

In the spirit of the former and accordingly, I repeat what has been said before: innovation processes must be interpreted more broadly, because the direction of development cannot be interpreted solely on the basis of the expansion of the technical toolbox. It is only by considering the whole of human activity that one can anticipate and think ahead.

In fact, I tried to show what are the ones that can be quantified and analyzed, and what are the gaps that still need to be filled. I hope I have the time and energy for it.