Idea Collaboration 1+1 = 3
"The unmitigated potential the New Year brings,
Opens my mind. My heart sings."
Ahhhh.... A New Year is upon us. 2014. I don't know about you, but I am feeling inspired. Anything is possible! There will be new people to meet, different foods to eat, fun places to go, new information to know, more love to give, more life to live. A fresh start. Out with the old in with the new. No- not really. We cherish the old and we relish the new. We learn from the past and lean into the future- hopefully better equipped.
So I wanted to share my thoughts about how people share their thoughts. Think of all of the thoughts that run through our minds- on both an individual and collective basis. Which ones get shared, and which ones get shelved, and what is the result?
Whenever I am in a crowd, and I happen to enjoy the energy of really crowded places- think Cairo and Paris and Downtown LA. Disneyland and Venice and Cirque du Soleil, I get a charge out of looking at all of the people and pondering what thoughts each one may be having. I know that I have a lot of thoughts about random things. Ruminations on the past. Hopes for the future. Preferences and dislikes. Acceptances and judgements. This is part of what makes each of us unique- though externally, many of us strive to look the same, following the trends in style and fashion and speech.
Yet inside, in our own minds, we have the freedom to be wildly unique, if we allow ourselves to be. Sometimes it can be shocking. Wow! Where did that thought come from? Who else might understand it? Could we dare to share it or compare it to another's thought? How many of our thoughts are original- verses borrowed? I'd venture to say that most of our thoughts are a combination of prior knowledge mixed with conjecture. 1 + 1 = 3!! That seems to be contradictory to truth.
We can all be wrong but we can't all be right. If I ask 10 people what my favorite color is ( electric blue- at the moment ) and stipulated that there could be no duplications of choices, and nine of them respond with different colors- violet, red, teal, green, magenta, turquoise, indigo, yellow, peach, lavender... they could all be wrong. But if one of them said "electric blue" then that one would be correct. But with an exchange in ideas, I believe that the end result can be greater than the parts. A kind of opposite concept of Entropy. A synthesis of thought and idea. Like each horse can pull 100 pounds but the two horses yolked together can pull 300 pounds. It is a magical concept with endless possibilities. Kind of like cooking. What if we combine mustard with a touch of vanilla and toss it with arugula? Would it be pleasant or repugnant? Has anyone ever tried this? Just check allrecipe.com to see!
It is amazing how much information is available with the click of a button. Not only do we have the opportunity to exchange ideas with the people in our immediate surroundings, we can search for like minded folks or non like minded folks on the internet and get immediate feedback on our ideas without the risk of public humiliation. Cloud computing. I once heard an analogy that computers are to art what microwaves are to cooking. But that is only one person's judgement. And now that it has been shared, I can let it marinate in my mind and combine it with other thoughts and pull out something altogether different, yet influenced by another's thought which was influenced by yet another's thought and so on and so forth and the wheels continue to spin collectively moving us forward.
It is fascinating to me. What is that lady in the produce section of Super King thinking as she examines the oblong eggplant? Is she considering whether or not to fry it or bake it? I could ask her if I were so inclined. I might even suggest using it for ratatouille which involves both frying and baking. She might offer a use for it that I had never considered, and we would both leave the market with new ideas.
What if the purpose of our lives was to go out and exchange ideas with others so that we can all learn and grow and progress? What knowledge does each person have that might prove useful to others? And think of the opportunities that have been missed because one person was too timid to express their thought with another? Or too insecure to share? Lost love and lives and discoveries. Sometimes we fear being different because we fear being judged but why? So we are judged- is that not better than fading away into oblivion?
So my hope for 2014 is that we can be genuine and fearless in our sharing and caring. That we can build upon the knowledge we have by collaborating with others. The possibilities are infinite.
Recipe: Chinese Orange Chicken
I borrowed this recipe from: http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/19/chinese-orange-chicken/
You can be sure that I will be borrowing more recipes from this site as this one is one of the best online recipes I have ever stumbled upon. I have made it twice and it is foolproof. I use an entire bag of Trader Joe's frozen tenders and then- though it is not my habit to do so- I follow the rest of the directions EXACTLY. Soooo delicious.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Sliced green onions, for garnish
FOR THE MARINADE
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
To make the marinade, whisk together chicken broth, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, orange zest, Sriracha, ginger and white pepper in a large bowl.
In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup of the marinade; marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
Heat remaining marinade in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir in 2 tablespoons cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened about 1-2 minutes; keep warm.
Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs, then dredge in remaining 1 cup cornstarch, pressing to coat.
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
Serve chicken immediately, tossed or drizzled with the marinade, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.
Adapted from Cooking Classy
*** OK, so did anyone figure out why I have pictures of blue horses other than the fact that I think the art is cool and they matched????
The Blue (perhaps wooden ) horse is the symbol of 2014!
One of the hallmarks of a creative person is the ability to tolerate ambiguity, dissonance, inconsistency, things out of place. But one of the rules of a well-run corporation is that surprise be minimized. Yet if this rule were applied to the creative process, nothing worth reading would get written, nothing worth seeing would get painted, nothing worth living with and using would ever get designed.
The sudden hunch, the creative leap of the mind that "sees" in a flash how to solve a problem in a simple way, is something quite different from general intelligence.
Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain and gaining new and wider views.
The ways of creativity are infinite: the ways of formal learning are numbered. Restless, curious, playful, contriving, the innovative mind feeds on challenge and makes its home n the province of mystery.
It is not hunger, but love and fear, and sometimes wonder, that make us create... to give poetic form to the pragmatic.
To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.
The life of the creative man is led, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes. It is also one of the most difficult, because the amusement always has to be newer and on a higher level. So we are on a kind of spiral. The higher you go, the narrower the circle. As you go ahead the field of choice becomes more meagre.
The history of invention can be seen as a series of marriages of incompatible ideas, or at east ideas that previously had not been introduced. The matchmaker in most of these marriages is the unconscious mind.
Creativity, common sense and love do come together in one fundamental sense. The three of them happen when you reach the point of awareness where you let go of something and let something else emerge.
The prerequisite of originality is the art of forgetting, at the proper moment, what we know.
I want to link creativity with something known as serendipity, which means to find something that you haven't been looking for but which changes everything that went before and comes after. The English word serendipity was coined by Horace Walpole, who used it for the first time in 1754 in a letter. Walpole described the adventures of the Three Persian Princes of Serendip. "By chance and shrewdness they discovered things which they were not looking for. They looked for one thing and found another. They were very surprised about this themselves." That is creativity.
- Gert Dumbar
When he reached the place he was aiming for, he began making holes in the ground with his rod, putting an acorn in each and then covering it up again. He was planting oak trees. I asked him if the land was his. He said it wasn't. Did he know who the owner was? No, he didn't. He thought it must be common land, or perhaps it belonged to people who weren't interested in it. He wasn't interested in who they were. And so, with great care, he planted his hundred acorns.
- Jean Giono
The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.
- Jim Morrison
Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.
I have learned that to have a good friend is the purest of God's gifts, for it is a love that has no exchange of payment.
- Frances Farmer
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( on defining creativity )
A man brings together two facets of reality and by discovering a likeness between them, suddenly makes them one.
- Jacob Brownowski
Any mental occurrence simultaneously associated with two habitually incompatible contexts.
That moment of insight becomes the creative act as a joining of two previously incompatible ideas.
I'm interested in the moment when two objects collide and generate a third. The third object is where the interesting work is.
To perceive the relations between thoughts, or things, or forms of expression that may seem utterly different, and to be able to combine them.
The association of two, or more, apparently alien statements on a plane alien to both is the most potent ignition of poetry.
-Comte de Lautreamont
Perceiving analogies and other relations between apparently incongruous ideas or forming unexpected, striking or ludicrous combinations of them.
Invention or discovery takes place by combining ideas.
The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony.
The more distant and distinct the relationship between two realities that are brought together, the more powerful the image.
Where the imaginative and the functional fuse and finally become indistinguishable.
Apparently unrelated things become interesting when we start fitting them together.
Only the spirit has the power of unanimously embracing contradictory aspects and fusing them into one.
New discoveries in science and mathematics often consist of a synthesis between theories or concepts which have hitherto been regarded as unconnected.
Creativity seems to be something which links things together... within a new whole, which didn't exist before.
You can take two substances, put them together, and produce something powerfully different (table salt), sometimes even explosive (nitroglycerine).
It is not so hard to be original, what is hard, is to be original with continuity.
The creative person's simplest purpose is to describe the outer world; his next is to express his feelings about that outer world, and his last is to express his feelings about himself.
Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we live by and teach our children - are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.
- Walt Disney
When I can look life in the eyes, Grown calm and very coldly wise, Life will have given me the truth, Taken in exchange- my youth.
- Sara Teasdale
Civilization grew in the beginning from the minute that we had communication- particularly communication by sea that enabled people to get inspiration and ideas from each other and to exchange basic raw materials.
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