I really need to blog more often. The problem with writing a blog is that you make yourself believe that you should have something real smart and intelligent to say before committing it to words. That was the inspiration behind this blog. However, the little things that happen during the week end up lost and undocumented. The problem is that these incidents shape the mind and actually cause blogs!
Anyway, I’ll just document that I still need a simple blog about the actual place where I am staying (along with some pictures) and one on the Olympics so far!
Back to this topic, this week I had a real good conversation with a friend of mine. The conversation went onto the whole issue of original-type thought. I put the “type” in there because true, original thought is pretty difficult to find. Natalie Portman, in Garden State, which is really an awesome movie with an even more awesome soundtrack, did that little thing in the movie when she felt unoriginal. All you do is stop what you are doing, stand up, do a weird dance whilst making an even weirder sound. Now you have done something totally original – something that nobody on the face of the planet has done before. After that, you apparently are supposed to be all chuffed that you are unique, no matter what anybody says. I do something similar with my making up of words (go look at my second post on this blog) with no meaning but they need to be phonetically and structurally sound. So helmalon is fine but zgtrrrerw doesn’t count because it looks daft. But, after I do that, I don’t feel all happy and stuff because I proved to myself that I did something original. It’s just that I’m a human and capable of some originality! I think that is something that sets us apart from other creatures and not something you jump for joy about like Natalie Portman. Then again, at the end of the movie, the guy got Natalie partly because of him doing the crazy little thing so it’s not ALL that bad!
Anyway, the one thing I’ve noticed is the lack of creative and original thought amongst so many people. Oh wait; we need a definition somewhere in this before you get totally lost. Original thought in its purest form is almost impossible. Man invented fire because when he ate that buck that lightning had struck down, he noticed it tasted good so he went about inventing fire as such through some inspiration. I really doubt some cave dude woke up one day and decided on inventing fire. No inspiration basically means no invention! Even things invented by accident, like Teflon, were not really original thoughts partly because the guy who invented it was trying to make something else which, in turn, had some purpose! So I think original thought in the context that we are capable of, is more being able to use you brain and creativity to come up with something that has more value than the sum of the parts. Okay, I just wanted to use that line but it is like an author such as Tolkien who used imagery to create more imagery which ended up as a history of a world that never existed which is better documented than many countries entire real history. It relied on things like mythology, conflict and people’s relationships but it did this in a way that nobody had encountered before. Imagine if in like a few thousand years time, some being comes to Earth and finds a copy of Lord of the Rings. They would assume that is our history! Interesting hey?
Back to my line at the beginning of the last paragraph: it’s something I noticed that so many people don’t have – the capacity to conjure up things which have originality. For example, if you ask somebody to provide you with something insightful, they’ll quote something that they heard on Friends rather than come up with something that they deduced in their head. It’s a case of using something that is proven rather than going through the trouble of constructing something in your head – even though both would take about the same amount of brainpower. And yes, it does happen and I challenge you to actually go see how true it is! My problem with this whole thing is it seems that way too many are like this and one has to ask the question as what is going to happen to our subsequent generations especially the ones involved in academia, producing papers that will lead to some breakthroughs in the way we live our lives. Imagine students of the future unable to interpret results because they don’t follow a known pattern – not just some students, but ALL students. A world without innovation but instead a world growing at a known pace but devoid of any change. A technological Middle Ages that lasts forever and ever more! I think I’ll just leave this here!