Would you make a 30-day road trip to write the world’s biggest message? If you did, what would your message be? Or another question – to what extent are you open to persevere with a new idea to see it through? The cards are stacked against you, you know. There’s likely a regulation or two standing in your way.
Obviously reading Ayn Rand is important to Nick Newcomen. He used a GPS logger (Qstarz BT-Q1000X) to “ink” the message along a route he planned that spanned from the US West Coast to the East. Starting his trip in Marshall, Texas, he turned on the device when he wanted to write a letter and turned off the device between letters. The recorded GPS data was loaded into Google Earth to produce the image above. It took him a month.
How is this related to creativity?
Unexpected actions or responses are often treated as annoying mosquitoes. They defy current standards of comfort and safety; they interfere with people’s sense of territory and ‘rightness’.
Regulations quickly pop up in response to unexpected new ideas, like this among others from North Carolina: it is illegal in the state plow cotton fields by using an elephant. (Here for more stupid laws.) Amazing, we humans are truly amazing at what we do when new ideas emerge. Pesky mosquitoes.
New ideas are infringements. People don’t like hearing them because they feel challenged to think differently, and for some, that hurts their heads. So, better to do away with new ideas than to investigate what’s good about them, what positive outcomes the new ideas or their derivatives of it might lead to.
Newcomen didn’t have to ask for permission. Who would he ask, after all? It won’t surprise me when US homeland security or some other governing body create regulations to control the behaviour.
Wasn’t there a recent fairly widespread article about the US being in a creativity crisis <grin>? No wonder, the culture is trigger-happy to regulate against it.