The Invention of Friendship

Tesla often said that he had trained his mind to visualise every aspect of the machinery that he would go on to build; he could run this machinery for a period of time in his mind to see where improvements needed to be made.

That is one form of invention.

But then, there is the other aspect: sometimes it seems that ideas are 'in the air.' When we become aware of an idea, we suddenly encounter it everywhere. For example, one may write a blog post, and notice the same theme appear on other blogs. Similarly, scientists have pointed out the difficulty in determining which of them first came to a discovery. There are times when the scientific community has the same data, the same problems set - so it is entirely possible for several people to come up with the solution at once.

The question of who came up with what is only a problem only if one is looking to claim something as one's own. I once knew an extremely successful photographer who used to say that he had no problem with people ripping his ideas off; he saw this as a form of liberation, which freed him to come up with the next idea.

Knowing that photographer helped me see the world in a different way. I think that discovering people shares certain features with invention. People can be like happy discoveries: seeing a constellation of people can open new coordinates in the mind.

It is said that invention is but deciphering parts of the language of the universe - a language which is always around us, just waiting for us to recognise it. Invention is all about finding a place in the world, a place in a context. Hence the invention that is friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment