We’ve Come A Long Way

The year was 1997, I was 5 or 6, and large cow-spotted boxes arrived at our front door. It was the latest model from Gateway 2000, my family’s first home computer. It cost some $3,000 and it came with what quickly became my favorite thing in the world- a CD-ROM of “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiago”. In 1998, it was becoming “the thing” to have a home computer. It didn’t have internet, at first, and my dad bribed a computer programmer from work to come over one night and hook it up. We felt we were living the high life operating Windows 95.

That computer finally died about 3 years ago. passed down to the basement for me to do school work on when my parents upgraded (to Windows XP… Oh-la-la!) and then passed down to my grandparents when I bought a laptop in High School. Just a blip on the technology radar in the grand scheme of things. Learning the history of the internet is fascinating to say the least. One can easily image search for images of the first computers… behemoths that took up entire rooms that could barely do a small fraction of what my watch (yes, my watch) does now. Beyond that, the idea that along with those early computers, the idea of the internet was an idea as early as 1957. Fascinating. For the record, my father was 2. To think that some 60 years ago, scientists were working on a way to connect digitally. From Arpanet, to the TCP, to advancing past radio waves to a more secure and dependable network- the work, the trial and error, and the progress that has been made over the years is nothing short of tremendous.

And as this technology has advanced, so has our ability to be creative on the internet and share ideas. As you can see, I am far from creative in the design sense… The standard layout of this page seems to work for myself (your results may vary) but as Tina Seelig’s TEDx Stanford talk describes, there are so many ways to think more creatively- that the contents of a trashcan can really be a trove of ideas and innovations provided we have the correct mindset. The ideas of invoking culture, resources and imagination into practicum not only makes us think differently, but allows us to push the outer limits of progress and innovation.

Creativity, is relative in definition. For the sake of my argument, I am a DJ for a local radio station. Part of my job is to take stories, condense them in a way I can explain them to the listeners in 30 seconds or less with a punch line, non sequeter or other tag that is informative, funny, interesting, or on a slow day, gets us to the next song and stops the bleeding. Somehow, I write this off as creativity. Others? Some can go to Hobby Lobby and find a number of things to create with random stuff they find for 50% off. Others, can take a pile of lumber and paint and build something truly amazing. Hell, someone somewhere designed this Swedish fashion-forward desk I am writing this at right now. All of these things are creative in their own right… It’s all in how creative you think of creativity.

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