Where Ideas Come From

I think this is the same artist in Daniel Pink's, "The Surprising Truth About What Motivates You" which I also love. 

I also love the notion that ideas come not from isolation (as the Romantics might suggest), but from community and connection - from collaboration. 

Earlier this year I read, "Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed the World." It was okay. But, I did love this bit about coffee houses, "They came to be known as penny universities, because for that price one could purchase a cup of coffee and sit for hours listening to extraordinary conversations -or, asa 1657 newspaper advertisement put it, "PUBLICK INTERCOURSE." . . . "The coffeehouses provided England's first egalitarian meeting place, where a man was expected to chat with his stablemates whether he knew them or not" (pg 12).

The New York Times even went so far as to say that these places and opportunities, if filled with people of difference, has the ability to make us smarter because "When surrounded by people 'like ourselves,' we are easily influenced, more likely to fall for wrong ideas. Diversity prompts better, critical thinking. It contributes to error detection. It keeps us from drifting toward miscalculation." A process involving, and appropriately called, "Cognitive friction."

In and of ourselves, our ideas are incomplete, because we are. Which, to me, points to the beautiful completeness of a collective humanity and not the false bravado of self and isolated brilliance. 


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Humanity  :  On Creativity