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I Have a Great Idea! (That Someone Else Would Have if I Didn't)

Currently reading: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace on page 54.

Innovation is held in a very regard in our society. It’s all about the movement of progress which allows us to increase technology and create a more assisted life. But, I think we give too much credit for some discoveries.

In the book the narrator talks about developing the first software to allow video editing on a computer. He speaks of the huge innovation it was and takes credit as if it was a tremendous and novel idea. Maybe it was for the time back in the late seventies, but that innovation was going to happen eventually.

Especially in retrospect, we can see that moving a process to the digital world is as natural a progression as moving from human based assembly lines to mechanical based ones. I don’t want to take away the recognition of these people who developed the software, but I do feel the “idea” is not exactly impressive.

But, I feel I need to point something else out here. As usual in our society we seem to praise people for accomplishments in moving away from nature. We hold people up for creating a more and more artificial world. And I believe that is dangerous in many ways. So, I leave you with a quote from Charles Baudelaire in his poem “The Generous Gambler” in which the devil is speaking to a common man.

‘He complained in no way of the evil reputation under which he lived, indeed, all over the world, and he assured me that he himself was of all living beings the most interested in the destruction of Superstition, and he avowed to me that he had been afraid, relatively as to his proper power, once only, and that was on the day when he had heard a preacher, more subtle than the rest of the human herd, cry in his pulpit: "My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!"’

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