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For years I’ve been saying that, when it comes to imagination, timidity is definitely not the name of the game. The truly radical ideas are out there on the edge, on the frontier, past the frontier.
The notion of creating your own future, of inventing something new becomes boring only when you’re turning down the power and range of your imagination to a whisper. When you extend imagination far enough, the lights go on, and fresh energy comes sweeping in.
I keep returning to the metaphor of painting, because there we can see how far artists have been reaching to invent something novel, no matter how strange it might appear at first glance. The painter need feel no restraints. Walking through a museum, you immediately see how diverse the scope of invention is, when freedom is the basic assumption. Artists don’t end up making the same thing over and over; nor, for the most part, do they end up copying each other. They strike out along vastly different paths. Paths of mind, psyche, soul.
Imagination operates well when the space is large and the ideas are free. Don’t reach out three inches. Reach out ten thousand miles.
Machine-consciousness says: “I define the parameters. I make the basic shape and size. Imagination can do what it wants to within the boundaries I set.” As time passes, shape becomes more uniform and size shrinks. Boredom expands. Energy recedes.
“Management has determined that you are speaking and writing in a way that most people cannot comprehend. Consider this a preliminary warning. Tone down the range of your remarks. Your suggestions are not meeting with approval. Learn to serve the majority. Find out what people want and give it to them. That is the founding principle of our organization. Ideas that do not immediately translate into practical application are distracting. Understanding all this was the purpose of your early education, but apparently the basic lessons did not sink in. You must retrace your steps and see where you departed from the standard.”
Or how about this?
“Our aim is to surround you with devices and machines that operate automatically and according to set protocols. Then, by osmosis and contagion, you will hopefully receive the message—you should strive to operate in a similar manner.”
Or how about this?
“In approximately two months, we will be rebooting the mandatory Brain-Government Interface (BGI). All codes, symbols, and pulse strengths will change to accommodate the new master program. We estimate it will take at least 45 days for you to adjust to the replacement structure. During this period, continue to practice your daily relaxation exercises. Accept the inevitable variations in mood. Don’t try to cling to the old ways…The Manual of Mental disorders has been expanded. One key addition is ID, Imagination Disorder. Person affected by this brain abnormality cannot comprehend the fact that imagination is fundamentally a toy for children. Setting imagination aide is a primary marker of adult onset and maturity. A breakthrough has been made. Researchers have discovered that unhindered imagination is the root-component of societal unrest and disorder…”