My Thoughts Are Not My Own

Teething problems
Originally uploaded by mark lorch.

Kids are so flexible … they can get their feet into their mouths without a problem. As adults, we often loose this ability … except in a metaphorical sense. This is mostly how I feel when writing this blog … I am always on the verge of placing not just by toe, but my whole foot, into my mouth.
Since I started blogging, I have found a number of times where I was under the misguided apprehension that I had an original idea. I raved on and on about authenticity only to then find the most in-depth and innovative thinking on the subject in blogs by Johnnie Moore and Chris Corrigan.
And my recent ramblings on innovation were (nicely) pointed out to have similarities to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of Flow (thanks to Clay Parker Jones). In fact, I think I had read his work years ago and in the meantime had absorbed his ideas and turned them into my own.
It is funny (and sometimes frustrating) to find that our ideas are those belonging to others. But it is also a testament to our education systems and to our own self-learning. Sometimes it is possible to arrive at the same solution to a problem … even if you are working in isolation or in secret. But as I have said before (and as many others have said before me) … it is not about the idea — it is how you bring it to life.
And maybe, just maybe, it is not putting a foot into my mouth — I am just sucking my toe for inspiration.
By the way … the photo is inspired by Katie’s uncanny geographical skills and unmatched oratorial abilities.

3 thoughts on “My Thoughts Are Not My Own

  1. Our ideas are not self born. They are bred on all the information we have around us. So don’t get confused when trying to transform someones Idea in your mind. It’s ok. Everyone should acknowledge the truths sooner or later.

  2. It seems only fitting that you would post this from Taiwan. Where much to the consternation of Western business and legal minds intellectual property is not something owned by one person or even one company, but rather it is the property of the community.
    At least that is what I read.
    Wherever we stand we stand on someone else’s shoulders. I think Picasso said something like that…or he should have. In either case that is how it is with “our” ideas.
    Always good to read your postings and enter into your conversation.

  3. It’s a little like Jazz music. I don’t play the trumpet anymore, but when I did, I always had a problem with solos. First, they’re scary. Second, I never knew what to do, what to “improvise”. It seemed a little ridiculous that I had to make up something that would sound good out of thin air. After all, it took utter geniuses YEARS to create a sound that worked. Who was I to even TRY?
    And then an older, more experienced trumpet player gave me a great piece of advice: “Don’t make anything up. Use bits and pieces of music that you’ve heard before. Be innovative in the way you put them together. Because after all, no matter how improvisational you may be, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE played that exact sequence of notes before you did.”
    A bit like what we’re doing here, right?

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