Everything Old is New Again

Why would I steal a title like this? Keep reading.

It’s because this podcast on TED Radio Hour speaks to a topic we at CIE talk about, too. Innovation isn’t a blinding flash of brilliance, in part, because there’s no such thing.

No great scientist worked in a vacuum to create their breakthrough. One of the best examples, Thomas Edison and his light bulb, is really a story about applying rigorous effort and persistence with solid knowledge of the underlying physics (developed and taught over centuries) to a problem.

Great inventors are remixers of existing ideas and technologies to address new problems or possibly just for the fun of reblending things to see what might come of it.

So, indeed, everything new was once old and the cycle repeats endlessly. Ideas and remixes are infinitely available. All of this can be learned, it can be taught, and it can be applied with structure and rigor with countably few techniques that, again, are not new, and often remixes of other ideas.

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