Still More Random Creative Ideas
The following is another collection of imagined inventions,
flights of fancy, and questions designed to inspire new thoughts.
In other words, here are some more creative ideas for the reader
to enjoy or take and use. We start with questions based on making
crazy assumptions. This process of assuming something that is
not typical is a great way to generate all sorts of new ideas.
Assume there was only one food for humans, perhaps one fruit
from one species of tree that provided everything we needed,
and there were no other things that were edible and safe for
human consumption. How would this change life for us? Although
my primary purpose here is to simply raise the question and let
you think of your own answers, my first thought is that it would
greatly simplify the whole eating part of our lives and free
up a lot of time, so I wonder what would be done with that time.
Let's assume we all knew the date of our deaths. Perhaps (in
the craziest version of this assumption), our birth certificates
would have an expiration date on them. How would that change
the way we live and do business? Financial planning would be
much easier, since we would know just how long we had to live
after retiring from work. That might result in smaller inheritances
for many people, because their parents will have had the ability
to spend down virtually all assets without worry of going broke
before dying (we hear our retired friends worry about this quite
often). What else would change?
Assume that there are no property rights. Actually this is
a difficult assumption to even imagine in the extreme. You can't
even imagine your neighbor helping himself to your food,
since it isn't yours. How would it be decided who got to use
what? Would violence or at least the use of force be the only
determinant, or could humans somehow transform into beings that
not only want to share everything, but are wise enough to know
how? Allocation of resources by law requires force unless all
humans miraculously agree to voluntarily abide by decisions they
haven't made themselves. If a government decides who gets what,
isn't that a form of property right that they are claiming (even
if done so on behalf of the people)?
Party Video Metaphor
Sometimes it is interesting to use or even invent a new metaphor
in order to see things from a new perspective. In this case,
imagine several people making videos of an all-night party. One
person chooses to point his camera at only the happy people who
are enjoying themselves. Another chooses to film only the party-goers
who are sitting quietly or looking sad. The third catches all
of the arguments and fights and crazy antics. Now imagine if
viewers of the videos were asked to describe the party. Depending
on which video each watched the descriptions would be very different,
wouldn't they be?
This is a great metaphor for how we create our understanding
of the world and of life. Each of our minds chooses to focus
on different aspects of life. Now, to make the metaphor more
salient, imagine that the videos were made by pure chance, with
a random turning on and off of the camera at the party, and a
random moving of the lens from here to there. That's how most
of our own viewing of the world works unless we take conscious
control. We have to become a conscious camera operator if we
want the most useful or happiest or creative understanding of
the party going on around us.
This idea came to me many years ago when I first started to
write and sell (or give away) e-books. It has now been used in
some forms. The basic concept is to make a book from chapters
submitted by numerous authors who pay to have their piece included.
Why would they pay? Because they get to promote whatever they
want in their chapter, and you will guarantee that a certain
number of the books will be sold or distributed. It's worth noting
that with an e-book a link can take the reader directly to an
author's website or online store.
This crazy creative invention idea is a ball ten feet high
with a chair on top. No matter which way the ball rolls, the
chair stays on top. Inside is a rolling device with a heavy weight
on one end, and a magnet on the other end, against the inside
wall of the ball. In this way, the weight always stays on the
bottom and keeps the magnet on top. The chair has a magnet or
steel plate with rollers, so it stays on the other side of the
ball wall (always on top), held there by the magnet inside.
Bead Painting Kit
You have probably seen mandalas or sand paintings, in which
different colored sands are used to create various scenes. These
are temporary "paintings" that are later washed or
blown away. The problem with this is that all of the sand mixes
and is lost, so you need to buy more. One solution to this is
to have plastic beads instead of sand, perhaps with six colors,
each one a different size so a box with levels and holes can
be used to sort the colors afterwards. In this way you can reuse
the beads again and again.
Creative Cereal Box Ideas
As I write this, probably millions of people have been sitting
looking at the box of cereal they just poured their breakfast
from. The space there on the back of the box has always been
used in various ways, but here are a few new ideas. First, why
not have boxes with the photos and biographies of presidential
candidates (I am writing this a couple weeks before the 2012
election). The manufacturer could have the boxes made with each
candidate and offer to donate to some PAC (political action committee)
based on which one you bought. This would be a way to boost sales
of cereal. You buy the candidate you like.
A cereal maker might make "advocacy" brands that
come in boxes covered with information. In other words, they
could create a brand for the the ACLU (American Civil Liberties
Union), put whatever the group wanted on the box, and even give
them a share of sales. Various non-profit groups get to put their
ideas out there in a new way and raise some money. Meanwhile
the manufacturer generates sales from those customers that support
Alternately a cereal maker could sell space on the boxes of
existing brands to non-profit organizations that want to get
a message out.
Why the Mix?
I get complaints from people who say this website is all over
the board and has no theme. This page is perhaps a good example,
given the mix of ideas for metaphors, marketing, politics and
inventions. All I can say to them is thank you for visiting enough
pages to note the variety and complain about it. The bottom line
is that this is my personal website for exercising my creativity
and detailing any interesting (to me at least) ideas that come