I want to be an innovator and not a copier. I struggle with what that means every day.
A tiny number of ideas can go a long way, as we’ve seen. And the Internet makes that more and more likely. What’s happening is that we might, in fact, be at a time in our history where we’re being domesticated by these great big societal things, such as Facebook and the Internet. We’re being domesticated by them, because fewer and fewer and fewer of us have to be innovators to get by. And so, in the cold calculus of evolution by natural selection, at no greater time in history than ever before, copiers are probably doing better than innovators. Because innovation is extraordinarily hard. My worry is that we could be moving in that direction, towards becoming more and more sort of docile copiers. — Mark Pagel
What does it mean to you?
(Via CarrollBlog: CarrollBlog 1.8.)
Evidently there is a gushing river of verbal creativity in the normal human mind, from which both artistic invention and lying are drawn. We are born storytellers, spinning narrative out of our experience and imagination, straining against the leash that keeps us tethered to reality. This is a wonderful thing; it is what gives us our ability to conceive of alternative futures and different worlds. And it helps us to understand our own lives through the entertaining stories of others. But it can lead us into trouble, particularly when we try to persuade others that our inventions are real. Most of the time, as our stories bubble up to consciousness, we exercise our cerebral censors, controlling which stories we tell, and to whom. Yet people lie for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that confabulating can be dangerously fun.
ARE ARTISTS LIARS? | More Intelligent Life
After writing like this for nearly eleven years, I have run out of titles, so I am recycling random things I hear that stick in my brain.
Brain, brain, brain: offline life has become a morass of the brain. First it was grad school applications, then the short story that took over my subconscious, and now an impending civil service examination.
Then there is the reading list: Enduring Love (Ian McEwan), Tricked (Alex Robinson), and more than a few others. Last night, we even watched a movie, “The Visitor”, so uncommon for us as we have devoted all our DVD time to “Battlestar Galactica” for months now.
Aside from writing, I have lost the urge to think creatively, and have not picked up a puzzle in months, nor have I started one of the myriad knitting projects my mother so thoughtfully sent me. My games lie fallow. I suspect this preponderance of linear thinking over non-linear comes from a sedentary lifestyle. Correcting this is my next order of business.
The details of two important events in my near future remain undecided — graduate school and the wedding — so I rely instead on the certainty that they will happen. For someone as obsessed with the minutiae as I am, this reliance does not come easily, but it comes.
I will close with a few online tidbits:
- Hunch: asks you simple questions, then gives you clear advice.
- F.lux: adjusts the color of your computer display to the time of day.
- unlibrarian: is my tumblelog, which is where you will find my random silliness.
I interview Matt during this episode of “… and scene”. We talk about parenthood, creativity, humor and one thing, just one thing, that drives Matt absolutely bonkers.
Your suggestions for future podcast topics are always welcomed, so send ’em on!