A few morsels for thought: Where do ideas come from? No, not from "an idea factory in Schenectady," as a certain bellicose and aging science fiction/fantasy writer has been known to quip. Closer to the truth is that ideas bubble up from strange subterranean depths of the unconscious, maybe from contact with some "Mysterious Ray From Another Dimension" (referred to by some as the Jungian "collective unconscious"), from snippets of conversation lodged into our subconscious that emerge at moments of "coincidence," from shadows of dreams, maybe from the haphazard juxtaposition of disparate objects and the synergistic combinations with other, pre-existing ideas, i.e. Chocolate running into Peanut Butter or like the surrealist artists would have it, say, a giant pear sitting atop a feather, by the seaside.
What matters is not so much where ideas come from, but that we figure out how to tap these latent powers for the urgent matters facing our planet and its ticking time table. I would urge inventors of all stripes to keep in mind premises similar to what internet marketing pioneer and philanthropist Mark Joyner puts forth in his "Unifying Social Dynamics - Mark Joyner Construct Zero (version 1.0)":
"The attainment of the following will resolve much of the non-productive fixation of the world:
Universal Food and Water
Freedom From Disease
Stabilization of Natural Resource Consumption
Imagine a world where the basic human needs are met for all and one would not have to live with the constant threat of impending starvation or disease. Note that I am not proposing an equal distribution of wealth, but technological automation that guarantees these rights to all regardless of their social position."
The man I consider the second, yes second greatest inventor of modern times -- certainly the greatest American-born inventor ever -- was Thomas Edison. His methodology is familiar, and simple though not easy to replicate: relentless and exhaustively detailed written goal-setting and planning for Murphy's Law, ruthless persistence and a high percentage of perspiration, precious little sleep, and the like. Edison's greatest rival in the vaunted "War of the Currents" at the turn of the century, who attained victory over him in this war and was vanquished in the public imagination through the thwarting of J.P. Morgan and the eccentricities of his own imagination, was Nikola Tesla. You know, the guy who brought us the alternating current and polyphase distribution systems and AC motor, and contributed immensely to robotics, wireless communication, remote control, and other rather useful utilities. "The Wizard of Electricity" had a very different methodology than "The Wizard of Menlo Park," but one which I believe is complementary and as equally necessary as Edison's Calvinist-influenced work ethic ethos. Tesla was said to be able to envision blue-prints in his mind's eye, to vividly visualize the problems and solutions of his world-shaking, industry-spawning inventions, before he ever set his hand in motion to bring his gadgets into manifestation.
I believe we can learn much from the approaches of both of these great inventors; and I ultimately conclude that it was the tension and competition between these men which lead to the lighting and wiring of the world...in other words it was not either/or...rather it was "both"...their animosity fueled our gain...and we best produce new Edisons and Teslas to clean up the environment, feed the masses, unleash new forms of clean energy, etc. etc...before our little planetary experiment goes belly-up. The clock is ticking.
T.S. "Steve" Minton
Editor and publisher, T.S. Minton Blogs - "The Mind-Boggling Blog That's Guaranteed To Keep On Boggling"
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