[pypy-dev] i just had the book FLOWS reccomeenmded to me

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 13 13:39:44 CEST 2004

On Saturday 10 April 2004 12:05 am, Edward K. Ream wrote:
> > Why do uncreative people live at all?
> Why ask why? It's their problem :-)

I disagree: we, the uncreative, provide most of the indispensable support and 
follow-through for most creative people's "sparks".   In a well-known quote, 
Thomas Alva Edison defines genius as 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration (this 
is widely mis-attributed to Albert Einstein and other well-known 
quipsters;-).  I would roughly agree -- and add that very few of the creative 
people, those lucky enough to be blessed with that 1% of inspiration, have 
the stomach and the taste for the long, careful, systematic, painstaking, 
often-boring and always-tiring work, implied by that 99% of perspiration.

Fortunately, ideas are irresistibly infective, even though all patent lawyers, 
copyright-term extenders, and other purveyors of "intellectual property" 
drivel, would stem the tide.  More often than not, large, indispensable 
swathes of that 99% of perspiration are provided by US, the uncreative, 
laboring patiently at crack-filling, t-crossing, i-dotting, and sundry other 
unglamorous tasks -- without such follow-up, all the creative sparks in the 
world would leave us all still cowering in damp caves, you know... 
(admittedly, so would all the patient toil in the world _without_ the 
occasional spark coming from the creative ones -- my point is that both sorts 
are needed to make real progress).

As a healthy antidote to the hubris that often seems to accompany creativity, 
I would recommend periodical doses of "Forrest Gump", or, for something 
completely different, Agnes Jaoui's sublime "Le Gout des Autres", Jasmin 
Dizdar's superb "Beautiful People", Alain Resnais's classic "Mon Oncle 
d'Amerique"... each of these artists manages, in different ways, to show how 
complicated and intertwined is the world of humans, how each instrument in 
the orchestra happens to play the right notes at the right time so that the 
full symphony can in the end emerge.


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