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How Do People Get New Ideas?


how do people get new ideas Imgur

"what is needed is not only people with a good background in a particular field, but also people capable of making a connection between item 1 and item 2 which might not ordinarily seem connected."

http://farnamstreetblog.com/2014/11/how-do-people-get-new-ideas/

Stashed in: Steve Jobs, Creativity, Ideas, Einstein, Farnam Street, Darwin

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New ideas come from connecting the dots.

In a previously unpublished 1959 essay, Isaac Asimov explores how people get new ideas.

Echoing Einstein and Seneca, Asimov believes that new ideas come from combining things together. Steve Jobs thought the same thing.

What if the same earth-shaking idea occurred to two men, simultaneously and independently? Perhaps, the common factors involved would be illuminating. Consider the theory of evolution by natural selection, independently created by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.

There is a great deal in common there. Both traveled to far places, observing strange species of plants and animals and the manner in which they varied from place to place. Both were keenly interested in finding an explanation for this, and both failed until each happened to read Malthus’s “Essay on Population.”

Both then saw how the notion of overpopulation and weeding out (which Malthus had applied to human beings) would fit into the doctrine of evolution by natural selection (if applied to species generally).

Obviously, then, what is needed is not only people with a good background in a particular field, but also people capable of making a connection between item 1 and item 2 which might not ordinarily seem connected.

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