Innovations

Innovation is not actually something that is new, but the renewal or transformation of something that already exists. We look around and see innovation everywhere in our lives, even our language has innovations from earlier generations to today.

I wrote a book in the early 1980s which had no reference to cell phones, paperwork was done by hand, the internet was dial-up, and cordless phones were not widely used because any electrical storm could wipe out the phone with one lightening strike close to a phone line. Astounding how the inventions of yesteryear have been innovated to more powerful, smaller, and exponentially faster than lightening household necessities.

How did I report the news without a laptop? How did I capture sports-action photos without a digital camera? How much easier it is today not having to have a light meter, or having to use chemicals to develop film and photos. There is something nice about that, but there is something rather missing today.

I recall being in the darkroom and talking to God about the people in the photographs, I remember submitting a photo and several people ooing and ahing over the almost incredible shot... or tisking because of the missed shot. I also wonder if that photo that is worldwide famous of the soldiers and marines who raised the flag over Iwo Jima would have been as perfect if taken with a digital camera. Would the photo journalist have been as precise with a smaller camera, or would the angle have been as perfect if his camera didn't need to be positioned perfectly on the rocky hill top, especially with the wind so fierce?

We take for granted our contraptions of today and get into such a frenzy if something takes longer than 30 seconds to finish heating or to turn green or what have you. Are we in too much of a rush today to enjoy a breezy, sunny afternoon doing nothing but sitting on the porch peeling an apple and listening to children laugh and play?

Have we lost the art of thinking? Where did imagination go? One could say it never left because we have all these wonderful inventions like motorized tooth brushes and microchips that let you know when your tire is going flat--but only if they are put in correctly. My microchip told me that my right front tire had only six pounds of pressure. I checked it and put air in it and checked it but nothing was wrong with it, the problem was with my right back tire. Why do we trust the microchips instead of our eyes and our ears? I still think our children are growing up without as much imagination as we had when we were children, and we didn't have as much imagination as our parents did when they were children.

When my father was a little boy he carried around a stick in his pocket. The stick was named Little Boy and he was a soldier, or a cowboy, or whom ever my father wanted to play with at the time. None of those eight children who were his siblings were ever bored. Whenever I told my mom I was bored, she thought of a gazillion chores for me to do. By the time she quit listing, I was out the door and down the street saying, "I'm not bored, and I'll never be bored again!" I gave my own children the same courtesy, and they rarely said they didn't have anything to do or that they were bored.

It is too easy to look something up on the internet, and search engines are so precise these days that there are very few side paths that can distract us from the goal at hand. Ten years ago, searching for information on the net was an adventure and I could get sidetracked so easily because I'd see something I'd want to know more about and follow the link. Today the only place I can get sidetracked like that is in my Bible study. It's an adventure to study through word searches and use lexicons. For those things I shall be eternally grateful for the innovations from man's imagination.

The idea of innovations as a post subject came from John Saddington who lives at Tentblogger