this morning I wondered, “is it genius? or simply access to the tools and the time to play with them?” that makes someone appear brilliant on the planet?
one of the better speakers I have heard in the past 15 years has been Malcolm Gladwell. I had read the book “blink” and didn’t realize who he was until he was on a stage talking about the book and how it came about. since then he has written a few other books, which I have read, but sadly don’t really remember the names…outliers? this morning I am staring at what is an interesting issue and boundaries between an engineering school and the normal university and me trying to get into it to use some equipment to make prototypes. in some respects, it is like the issue in Switzerland…. a create/inventor with a Ph.D. is somehow valued. a creative person with common sense that solves problems is given a different name. it is sort of like the caste system for creatives. the same issue happens in the states with the world of academia and business realities.
in the past year, particularly with the CNC lathes and mills…I have been in four different cities with four very different views of what the machines are for. the most expensive and sophisticated appear to be sitting in academia, a bit like unused furniture to act as fishing lures for donors to give more checks to fund “more innovation.” it is a bit like an illusionist in Las Vegas, I still remember how unsophisticated many illusions really are – yet – people believe it is real. it is the same with academic money these days. I had to chuckle that what two recent groups were touting is how they have “custom blended and roasted coffee available” at the maker/coworking space.
I love coffee, and have a portable coffee/tea shop I carry with me…but it had me almost say, “do you think creatives give two sh*ts about your coffee area? or do you think we would rather more space and tools to create with?” (I do put a note here that coffee is the creative nectar of god – but if you have to pitch these benefits because Silicon Valley works and operates in its own bubble universe – why are you trying to copy something that will not work end masse?)
ok, I vented. so here I am really thinking about a solution to a problem that came across my path yesterday. it really has me stretching how to get a message across to people via experiential simulation – but I can’t freak anyone out, or terrify them with the reality of the situation….so it to be subtle and well done…yet, the budget is minimal. hmm…
it is an interesting problem, of which, it actually has some merit and value for people in this world of ever-increasing consumption and people losing who they are in a world of having more stuff.
if the world would use all that stuff for the betterment of all, I might not look at greed and pride as the biggest dangers to humanity…but the reality is…until some cataclysmic event – be it a world war – a mutant virus – or a natural disaster of a global scale…. humanity en masse probably isn’t going to wake up anytime soon. it will continue seeking more and more “stuff” and put it in a place to look at and have others say, “I wish I had that!”
but it really will lead to a place where it will make humanity dangerous and unstable. an airplane is safest when it is flying versus just sitting on the ground. a car is best used being used versus just sitting in a garage. a home will last longer with people in it versus just sitting empty with all the services unplugged.
I think humans are probably meant to live in harmony and society with each other – yet today I fear we are isolating ourselves more and more with the way we consume and use media and keep trying to acquire more and more for ourselves, far beyond what we really need to have a good life. there is a friend I have in Switzerland who has been trying to bring about co-working and shared spaces in a country that has some social hang-ups about sharing. it is not a knock against Switzerland, but rather the question of overcoming fears. “why are people afraid to share more? is it simply a cultural thing? or are people simply afraid to look imperfect asking to borrow a tool? or do people really not want to change – as that would require walking into no guarantees and moments of ambiguity?”
it is like the people that control the machines and technology. why not let people use it? you might be surprised what people can create that is not along the intended path or limited mission statement.
perhaps I finally wrote myself into the answer of “why is it like this?” first is people don’t like ambiguity or failure and the second is people are afraid and have fears that want them to control things and think they can control life.
it really is a fine line between genius and lunacy. I think there is a big chasm today between the worlds of “innovation and creation” and that of “change and fear.”
one day soon, humans will all be sitting around either staring at some tube or have a chip implanted into their virtual life…where many sit there and check out of reality, or everyone will be wondering, “how is it that we let all the machines do everything for us and we are bored, yet we have all the time in the world to improve ourselves…and we don’t.”