Lo and behold — The Printing Press!
‘Invention (n) — something invented as a product of the imagination; can also be a discovery, finding’
Innovation. No matter where you go, the word seems to echo and follow you like a ghost. Turn on the TV, and you’ll find some over-qualified individual of sorts discussing the divine need for innovation if we are to progress as a society; switch to skimming the latest headlines on your phone, and if you’re like me, preferably from The Guardian and The Economist and it’s difficult to not find a headline that’s something along the lines of how desperate our economies are for innovative, bright thinkers or some latest do-doo that promises to disrupt society as we know it; just walk into the Ted Rogers School of Management building and talk to anyone and I mean anyone working there, let it be student leader or a professor and I challenge you to not hear the word innovation or innovative come up at least one in conversation — and I’m sure the same could be same for other faculties across campus.
So what gives? Why have become so obsessed with this term and chant it like it’s a divine prayer of sorts?
It’s because innovation leads to progress — and I believe that these wise words by Khalil Gibran sum it up quite eloquently, ‘Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.’ Without innovation, there is no progress and without progress there is no advancing forward; if it weren’t for profound and prolific inventors of all sorts, we wouldn’t be where we are as a society today. One of the inventions I truly find the most prolific is none other than the humble printing press, invented more than five centuries before I was even born, in approximately 1440.
The invention of the printing press marked a turning point in our society; an epoch of sorts, if you will. It was invented in the Holy Roman Empire by Gutenberg and spread like wildfire over a span of decades across Western Europe — but Simrah why is this so important?
The printing press started a revolution; some may even say it jump started the Renaissance — it gave the common man a voice, that no longer stemmed from the great cathedrals in that era; it allowed for people to read and write and encouraged intelligent discussion and critical thinking as a whole. It brought the idea of mass communication that we are all so familiar with today (only our printing press is well, social media). It broke elitism and brought out the emerging class — it was a disruptive innovation; it changed the way society, in that point of time functioned as a whole. Which was awesome to say the least.
And that’s what so many things in society need — disruption. We need to radically rethink and reform so many manifestations in our society, like education and academia for one (SERIOUSLY).
On that note, it’s been real #EID100 homies.