1991. The term Internet of Things is coined.
It seems there is a misconception in the use of “innovation” considered as one verbal form. And this misconception, is wide spread.
The misconception mentioned above prevails, and seems to come from an incorrect use of what we know as the sense and the reference.
Innovation, as an expert in the field of linguistics — who, besides, is a close friend of mine — kindly explained to me, derives from the infinitive form of the verb “to innovate”.
This is, you and me perceive a referenced term as if it meant not a single entity, but a whole transformation. For this, maybe, we get confused on what might be a correct referral of “innovation” and its sense : “a small change for the better “.
Old terms to coin new values. Here we go.
Universals. Metaphysics into metadata. A verbal form like “to innovate” is, by definition, a universal concept. Repeatable or recurrent entities that can be instantiated or exemplified by many particular things. Patterns. References.
Let’s make this point clear. Universal is a term can be applied to more than one single reference. A term that can be understood being part of an assertion or phrase.
Subscriptions. Today I have been reading my RSS subscriptions, and there, an interesting article written by Mr. Dave Winer four months ago, that still makes me an impact.
In his article, Mr. Winer expresses his thoughts and his personal vision on the actual failure of the concept innovation, associated to the false expectations for the possibility to change the world through innovating.
Here comes the mistake in the sense. Innovation understood as a way to change the world. Change the world? For the better? Define better.
To define it better, you have to stare and think yourself about Thomas Kuhn. Think yourself, please,about the meaning of the term evolution. Think about the fact to discover these anomalies in the real world, and how to take profit of these discoveries, and of these anomalies. Think of enthralling your community, too, or even your audience. Think that change is a verb, not a noun, and that, as a verbal form, is too a universal term.
So we need to find an empirical example that gives a sense to this universal term. Just a second. Let’s have a toast and trigger a space there to hold a place for dirt memoirs.
It was that band of youngsters named The Beatles who — in the seventies age of our past century — sang something like this:
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world(…)
That was then. If you want to innovate you must have in mind the year 1987, and perhaps bitter moments of the year 1995; because those were the real milestones of our present world. People who were in charge then and before kept in mind the sixties, the early seventies, and what could be done from that on. Same pattern happens in the field of classical design, for example. You grow from a basis you have learned and studied with patience. Not to mention effort. You do not innovate by re-creating baroque.
Being myself raised during that time of Johns and Marks and Andys in Europe, means that I was raised inside a conservative and respectful society.
Not having in mind the sixties, being myself not a millennial, I feel old enough to remember in the news the death of John Lennon. Old enough even to remember the news spreading that Mark Chapman was arrested for shooting John. That John was a Briton. That John had a picture cover for one of his works done by Andy Warhol. That person Andy wearied glasses and looked quite cool.
John was born in the basement, the place where the ideas really flow up. His famous haircut was done by a hairdresser woman who I had the pleasure to know, and with whom I was pleased to share some beers and some laughs while I was residing in Hamburg.
In Europe, then, there were two kind of societies where humans lived, if my memory serves me well. It was the best of times, it was kind the worst of times. Europeans were at that time divided, not by states, were taught at school.
Those learning lessons we receive were that there was an East and there was a West. Both geographical parts of Europe. One is shown, the other one is hidden. We do innovate, one against the other. Like reflections in a mirror, we saw the result like an upside image. Two living models of societies in which a human could have the choice to grow and to become or either an astronaut or a cosmonaut. Night and day. Your choice.
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
Mr. Dave Winner writes:
They’ve thought of everything by now. There isn’t room to be innovative in lifestyle anymore. Back when I was a kid, that’s what we thought we were doing. Creating something new in life. But the hippies are either gone or very old. Did you see what Joni Mitchell says about Bob Dylan? She looks nicely like my grandmother!
No kidding. To grow up means you may see things clearer, such in a holistic way.
John Lennon was the former member and guitar player of a music band named The Beatles. They managed and build they own publishing label compàny, named Apple Records. An indie label linked to a major label. A publisher music company, Apple, that reach business success selling some songs like that A life in a Day.
A hippy anthem. From the outside, and being honest — and pretty rude — for a moment, Mrs. Joni Mitchell always looked like our grandmother. Guess it’s because that look she wear beg something inherent to the hippie culture. The flower-power discourse, beside the aesthetics involved within, was appealing to the older ones, not to the youngsters, in those days. They were not making any kind of innovation for its own generation, but a will for a return to the roots of a primitive society and also a lust for shocking while pleasing the older. No way. No future.
The past. And the sense of innovation doing something for the better against our common experiences. Define innovation, not fashion, nor trend.
Chips on my shoulder. The past as a reference. I still hold an impression of the face of the man who played the role of my grand stepfather. The one who gave me, as a birthday present, the whole The Beatles Collection inside a cage full of compact-cassettes. I was then ten years old. ( And I never used later that collection of compact cassettes to write data in, I promise ). He — that grand stepfather of mine — he was not a hippie, not because he could not. Too late. Or too dangerous. Or he may did not feel the need to be one . At least to look like externally. But he always wondered himself and the ones who sorounded him about the term innovation. How is it possible…? Why, when I was young never we did not reach…? That man gave me that day, as a birthday present, two innovations made in our era. He described as evolution.
Two gifts in one. Modern music, and the modern way we used to record and preserve data. Innovative lifestyle is about making a difference. A subtle difference. Number nine.
Apples and oranges. Apple and the Beatles and John and before. We never though we could browse the vinyl album covers through an electronic device named IPad. That was innovation. Because it reached the all of us, without notice. And this object completely changed ( did revolution ) the way we use to do things.
End of memoirs.
Innovation might be what you expect and dream, and make those expectations feasible. Think of patterns, think about universals. Think of aspects.
Aspects surrounding innovation: A process, perseverance, a methodology, the work of a collective, a step further. A step further, using mechanical methods, electronic devices, new components from our everyday living life.
Stop and rewind. Return to the source. That article. An excerpt of that article,
And it would have been nice if each of us had a way to feel our life had meaning, that we were making a difference, and being creative, heard and understood — by someone, anyone. I think that’s the real crisis of our times, in the first world at least.
An excellent post written last February, that has lead this yours truly to write the bunch of words you have read.
Some of us never though to change the world, except if it was done in a subtle manner.
Innovation, comes step by step, hand in hand, together subtlety and adaptable.
Period. Press the eject and give me the tape. Via scripting-com.
Originally published at delfiramirez.blogspot.com on November 6, 2015.