Friday, August 6, 2010

Our Drive For Industrial Innovation

If you think about the drives and doings of the average species, you easily see they're typically creatures of habit. Some of this is physiological, but that doesn't make it necessarily exclusive or even ideal. One quick example would be walking forward when sometimes it's best to walk backward, like if there's a snake crawling forward in front of you. If we could train snakes to crawl backward, the rest of us could walk forward all the time, unless we just felt like walking backward.

The fact is, we can innovate! I'm innovating all the time, another word being 'making do.' Just yesterday I was 'making do' when it came to a broken piece on an appliance, putting it back together with three paperclips. My innovation came out of experience in this case, having used paperclips before with some success to fix things. But, let me hasten to add, it wasn't just 'creature of habit' stuff, what I was doing, but a true innovation, because the parts I was fixing were different from those of the past. Still, I know, overall, in the meta stuff, this could be 'creature of habit,' because I was using paperclips. The true innovator might've tried dental floss.

I actually have innovated in the past with dental floss now that you mention it. I remember tying up some patchouli plants to dry by bundling them and hooking them to a ceiling hook with dental floss. And of course who hasn't innovated in repairing books with broken bindings by sewing them up the edge with floss? I know I have, many times, meaning, I guess, that I was an innovator the first time I did it but an old hand with experience subsequent times. But this is also true: You're still an innovator the subsequent times, since novelty for the sake of novelty is not always innovation, but it can be just being stupid. I will allow that it's innovation even if it doesn't work, but this is splitting hairs.

So you have the behaviors of species, the usual paths of plants, the techniques that we employ to achieve certain aims, and even the workings of the earth, planets, and stars. Nature isn't much of an innovator, you might say, because the sun comes up in the east everyday. And, we say, if we were a sun we might want to mix it up and come up in the west. I know if I were a sun I might sleep a little later some days. Especially if I knew it was my job only and no one else's. The way the sun works now, except for the sloughing off it does in winter, it's fairly reliable.

But you might say, If the sun stayed in bed, wouldn't it always be dark? No, because the sun is a very bright thing. And since it gets hotter as the day goes on, it'd kick the covers off to get cooler, and we'd still have light to see by. Especially if it innovated and slept in an upside-down bed.

Scientists, falsely so-called, say the sun doesn't actually rise and set. They have some kind of cockeyed explanation for how this supposedly happens, involving the sun staying in place and the earth moving around it. As dumb as that is, since we all know better, at least I give them props for innovation. Because why should everyone say the same thing? It's good to innovate and come up with a different explanation. In this case they're clearly walking the plank to their own doom, but it's their funeral.

We of the Residential Industrial Movement have it over the major industrial powers, who actually are diminishing in power everyday thanks to our spirit of innovation. It's common sense that it'd be this way. You have the major powers and they're unrivaled ... of course they're going to do it one way, the way it works. But if every man has his own factory, that's where innovation's going to come in. Because a guy will wake up one day, just as an example, and say, Why shouldn't I put an extra lever on my invention, so that if you flip it something different and unexpected might happen? That's the true scientific approach to life, not just the laziness that the major powers gave us.

Every product I see, from toilets to cars, I think how we could innovate and open up new markets and expand existing ones. Plus, for every extraneous lever you put on something, that's a job for someone.



One of the conundrums of what constitutes industrial innovation or not: The starting crank on a car.

It was once considered an innovation to have a starting crank, since before that cars wouldn't start at all.

Then it was an innovation to get rid of the starting crank and put in a starter and key ignition.

But I say it'd be an innovation, albeit a throwback innovation, to put starting cranks back on cars today.

One, there'd be a fortune in the nostalgia market. And, two, it'd be handier than getting out battery cables if your car doesn't start.

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