There is a new buzzword, and I use it as an indicator for intellectual laziness: "disruptive".
The new buzzword is really fashionable and experienced a meteoric rise for the last year or so. The earliest uses during this rise were still quite true to the original meaning, indicating change, substitution and so on.
The word is now popular both in regard to military or wannabe toys and in regard to pseudo-academic discussions and articles.
|When "disruptive" was still a real word: Disruptive Pattern Material;|
a fine UK camo pattern from the 80's
Let's not fool yourself:
"Disruptive" is merely the buzzword de jour that describes quite the same stuff that would have been" transformational" just a few years ago. Previously, the buzzword was "revolutionary". Before that, "innovative", and at granddaddy's times it was "modern".
Old German books of the 1950's feature a similar buzzword, which was apparently in use before "modern" became fashionable in Germany: "neuzeitlich" (new-age, modern).
You may stumble on some article where "disruptive" is still being used in the sensible, original meaning (meaning something new which requires and/or causes creative destruction). I have no doubt that this example will be drowned in the flood of not-so-sensible buzzword uses during the next few years.
I wonder what they will cook up to replace "disruptive", since "change" has already been politicised in the U.S..
In the end, it's old wine in new bottles.
P.S.: It took about six years for the word to take off. The roots of this fashion are likely in the re-naming of the ARDA into Disruptive technology Office in 2006.
I began writing this because I felt a lack of such a blog post calling out the fashion. It turned out that there already was one, albeit not in the defence environment:.