When someone gets an idea, what determines whether that idea gets put into practice or not? There are a lot of factors, but one of the largest is whether or not he believes that the idea can actually be executed. The problem is that while our mental models for things we have experience with can be quite good, our mental models for the unknown are often poor.
A big part of the problem is that we give a lot of weight to the "other people factor". If someone else has done it, then obviously it's possible to do. The converse is not true, though-- just because no one has done it doesn't mean that it's impossible or even difficult. It just means that no one else has ever done it. We can know that logically, but our brains don't subconsciously think that way.
I fell into this trap recently. I've always wanted to be able to plug a microphone into my camera, but it doesn't have a microphone port. I did a few searches, but no one had figured out how to get a microphone jack on the Sony NEX. For about a year I did nothing, until one night as I was falling asleep, it occurred to me that it might not be that hard, and that the only reason I thought it was impossible was because no one else had done it. The next morning I figured it out.
When designing SETT, I really wanted it to be possible to log in without the page refreshing. To the best of my knowledge, no content-heavy sites have ever done anything like that. I almost gave up on the idea before even trying it, just because no one else had done it before. But then I realized that for SETT to be successful, I would have to do a LOT of things that no one else had done before. I took a crack at it, and again it turns out that it wasn't all that tough.
I could give you many more examples, but the pattern is so obvious and basic that there's really no point. I assume something is impossible because no one has done it before, try it anyway, and it's relatively easy. Once in a while it turns out something actually is impossible (at least for me), but it happens far less frequently than you'd expect.
If you can get over this subconscious "other people factor" sabotage, some really interesting things happen. First, you can actually create new things and be the one who proves that something CAN be done. That's a pretty cool gift to people who are stuck in the must-be-impossible mindset. By creating new things, you get to build the skill of creativity. That, of course, is where the word comes from. You also get to mold the world to fit your ideals. Want something that doesn't exist? Great... make it yourself. Again, it won't always work, but often times it will.
The phrase "something that no one has ever done before" has a connotation of grandeur, but the new things you do and create don't have to be grand at all to have a big impact on you and others. There's not much grand about living in a tiny RV, but doing so without a template to follow has given me and a bunch of other people a bit of freedom they may not have had otherwise. Even a tiny feature like logging in without refreshing the page will have a tiny impact on (hopefully) millions of people.
That's not to say that doing new things is the only way to contribute or to create. You can produce a lot of value just by copying other people or by refining other people's creations. But even still, maybe it's worth exploring that untapped avenue of doing things no one else has done. I tend to think that it's the best way to maximize your individuality for the benefit of others.
Photo is me and my color guard team from high school. I was the first guy to ever do Winter Guard at my school, but for a while at least, there was at least one guy in the group every year after I left.
You seem to have done a lot of awesome stuff in high school. Why not make a list post, to inspire people who are in high school? I would have loved to have had a template for awesomeness back then.
Well.. how did you fix the mic issue with NEX?
I'll second that. I have an NEX 5N.
He's got a YouTube Video here:
This is another post where I so completely agree that I have a hard time saying much! But I try not to just say, "Totally agree! Great post!" Rather, I try to come up with other examples, maybe take one part, break it out, and expand on it; you know, make the conversation flow and expand.
So here goes: In a purely materialistic sense, their is no such thing as creativity. Energy (of which matter is composed) is neither created nor destroyed. It is always conserved. So when someone says, "This is new," the counter proposition is, "No, it's just a recombination of existing energy." Modern, but not classical, philosophers insist that thought itself is just a wave manifestation of energy, and the illusion of newness is just because the possibilities of recombination are infinite.
Well, that's a f%^king depressing philosophy. Socrates' answer to this--I'm talking about entropy--was that if the spirit of life was not reborn anew after death, then the universe would run out of energy.
That is not a depressing philosophy. Deluded or not, I will continue to hold to the material fact of new creation. One day, I hope, science will catch up to the best thinking of 500 BCE.
But one might find that those indoctrinated in materialism (philosophy, not economics) tend to lack faith in their own ability to create.
Well put. The unknown is often so intimidating that innovation gets stopped before a single effort is made!
i need help please, i joined the community a bit back and enjoy reading others postings, but i cant figure out where to write my blogs from. I have been using WordPress for the last few years and I want to start blogging here but for the life of me , im stumped, can someone please point me in the right direction? Thank you in advance, please be safe in China Tynan!
Hannah and I thoroughly enjoyed this photo. But it kind of just makes us want to see a video.
Hey, TYNAN - ON How to get 3.5mm microphone audio-in on the Sony NEX-5,,,,,
If anyone needs help on building them, or making one for them self, I'm good it that stuff & LOVE doing things outside the norm!
I Agree Tynan! as growing up I always thought that everyone could always be creative, and do all stuff they want to do like building new things or build that thing that they thought was cool, and then you hear someone say they well build it for you but it never hits the market, then it's Forgotten but us few trys for it, And I always hear people say that it can't work, but really they don't understand it, untail they see you doing it, Why do people have to be so Negative about everything, Like the HH+O systems, Stanley Meyer did create something New and it did work, and if you read his patents long Enough and do your hands on R&D and study stuff off the internet & Applied Science, You Can Figure It Out For Your Own Needs & Win you profect it, Share It.
Before I start this post - thanks so much to people who came to Karaoke. It was mostly people I already knew, but one reader, Curtis, came. I thought it was totally awesome that he read about Karaoke here and decided to go. Even better, he nailed Guns 'N Roses' Welcome to the Jungle. Also in attendance were my brother and his friends, Steve, Anissa, and Dan from work, and Todd and Doug who helped me run the show.
I had no idea what I was getting into. Things like "hey, I should probably have music for when no one is karaokeing" never even occurred to me. All I had was the leaked copy of Jay-Z's Kingdom Come, so I kept playing that. There was silence, there was no crossfading. That part of the show was a disaster. I also had no idea how to hook stuff up to their system, so the first hour was spent doing that. I felt really bad for people who came during that part.
Finally things got rolling, although I think only 4 people I didn't know sang songs. It wasn't too busy because the weather was cold.
Right now, I might be lying frozen inside a slab of ice.
The year is 6442, the planet I call Earth was destroyed a thousand years ago. I have been lying here for 2595 years, on an extended space flight, piloted by a robot programmed to search for a place that can support human life.
What I think of as “reality” is being piped in like elevator music.
Even if you knew that, how would you tell the difference?