Here I make sense of a selection of thoughts and items arising from a morning of foraging on the internet. Initially there is only chaos but soon a picture emerges with a simple message: Creative acts endure.
A wonderful piece on poetry and exploration in computer games. A passionate oration about medieval tapestry and how to tell the story of their story telling in world class galleries. An innovative humble man who leads a nation fearlessly in dangerous times. An honoured man who created a novel method of micro-finance who is being repressed by a government eager to increase their power. A picture of Columbus and a quote describing how easy it would be to subjugate Indian people whose notion of possession and sharing was admirable. Two friends who both made rose hip jelly, one of whom designed a computer game about exploration, the other who studies medieval history. A musical friend who writes poetry. An idea about reputation and how to give control of it to other people in a good way, by inviting collaboration. A dear friend who works in museums, and is passionate about on-line story telling and art history.
The piece on poetry and exploration in computer games talked of the inspiration generated by the poem Ozymandias, which is about the greatness and the decay of humanity and the death of civilisation. It has formed the inspiration for a number of settings in modern computer games in which exploration of the decaying worlds forms a narrative for the user. Much like a museum or art is there to tell the story of the past in a way which brings it to life again.
What struck me is the nature of the objects that survive in time. The poetry. The tapestries. The objects that people make and keep. How creative humans want to be. To engage in their culture and their world. I am surrounded by creative people.
My ambition is to create a technology that helps people create and innovate in the world around them in a way which doesn’t destroy the basic and complex nature of the ecosystems that are required to sustain us. Create a tool which can harness human creativity in a good way by combining energy from sunlight with information processing and materials science. The rose hip jelly shows how people are willing to spend time making things. Computer games. Blogs. Poems. They don’t want to record and tell their story to the future but they wish their lives to be filled with interesting things and these things leave a story which can be experienced by future generations, in turn inspiring them.
The misery and suffering comes from the people who wish subjugate others to their control. To derive power over others for their own advantage. The drug barons who just want money for themselves without caring about the lives they destroy. A single individual created micro-finance to liberate subjugated women in Bangladesh, in turn creating tremendous wealth. Now this wealth is coveted by those in power who seek to oust him and take it for themselves, thus regaining control over the people, which will stifle the creativity which led to the wealth!
One object on the web that I encountered stated that “suffering comes from attachment”. Individuals who are attached to power and wealth and seek the control over others to make themselves better off will destroy the very creativity that leads to wealth creation. The message from my morning’s on-line information foraging is that to truly become wealthy we must release the creativity and innovation of all and that truly inspiring things happen when we don’t seek power for ourselves, but seek power for other people.
Greatness through humility is a powerful concept. By giving people enough power to create and innovate the objects they need and want in their own lives can we become sustainable indefinitely? Like Ozymandias, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. All great civilisations fail. Do mediocre ones live longer? Limiting power to any specific individual, releases power back to individuals to continue with the gentle buzz of their creativity. Rose hip Jelly. Poems. Computer games. Music. Tapestries. Meaningful interactions with people that we care about. Weaving a narrative that transcends time.