How is the first flute the great grandfather of the modern computer? Learn about the history of innovation with EWC!

We say necessity is the mother of invention, but maybe we are looking at innovation all wrong.

The rich history of invention is filled with incremental steps in innovation, each idea building on the last, taking inspiration from a plethora of sources. In great leaps of innovation, singular inspiration is a rarity.

So, let’s get back to that first question I asked, “How is the flute the great grandfather of the modern computer?” The answer to this question is of course, fascinating, but it also sheds light on one of the critical ways that that innovation happens. Not based on pure functionality, but with play.

We will let the author of this fantastic TED Talk, Steven Johnson, explain.

Via: TED 1

Our frequent readers know how much we love TED. We truly believe TED.com is one of the most interesting corners of the web. EWC features the best of their talks a couple of times each month. If I do say so myself, EWC and TED are the only places I have found where smart people, curious and hopeful, can always come away transformed. Check out our list of favorites from TED here!

History has an incredible way of uncovering the wonderful backstories of the things we take most for granted.

As innovation and inter-connectivity continue to play an important role in building and shaping the future, it benefits all of us to pause and reflect on how we got to now.

I love Johnson’s final line,

“You’ll find the future wherever people are having the most fun!”

Innovation at its core is about trial and error, and by making that process playful, we allow for people to step further out into realms of possibility and see triumphs and failures as fun.

The future needs experimenters, it needs creative thinkers, it needs the kinds of out of the box ideas that see the world in terms of connection. The more we incorporate play into our innovative thinking the more we foster creative collaboration across disciplines and cultures.

So, go out, be playful, and most importantly, remember that possibility is always out there, we just have to be ready and willing to see it!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

Explore More Innovators!

We celebrate innovators of all sorts at EWC. Head over to our Innovation Category to see some of the people proving it’s still an amazing world!

Innovation on EWC!

Or, give our Surprise Me button in our sidebar a try! It’s the best way to explore our extensive archive or reasons to celebrate the future.

You can join us on our mission to prove that it’s still an amazing world by supporting us on Patreon, where you can also get access to exclusive content. If that isn’t your style, you can help by reading and sharing our content with friends and family. The more eyeballs you can help us reach, the more positivity we can all spread together. Thanks for stopping by today!

SUPPORT US ON PATREON!       CHECK OUT OUR LIBRARY!

Notes:

  1. Johnson, Steven. “The Playful Wonderland behind Great Inventions | Steven Johnson.”YouTube. TED, 09 Dec. 2016. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLltkC-G5dY>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and the COO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

In this Circle

The Best Way to Improve the World Around Us

14 minutes

[ Business ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Here is a TED Talk that could be a prescription for solving many of the world's most vexing problems! What if we emulated some of the quirkier characteristics of the most original thinkers and idea people?
Read More

Turning Apples into Ears: Creativity in the Lab

20 minutes

[ Art ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

What if we let creativity and play mix with science? Here's a lab that is doing just that, and in doing so coming up with incredible discoveries, like the ability to turn apples into ears...
Read More

The Playful History of Innovation

9 minutes

[ Design ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

How is the flute the great-grandfather of the computer? Here's a look at the playful history of innovation to give you a little perspective for the future!
Read More

How Paper Tools will Change the World

14 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

When it comes to innovations that will change the world, shouldn't we consider how many hands will have access to them? Check out this brilliant TED Talk from Manu Prakash, one of the remarkable brains behind the paper technologies of the future that will revolutionize how we think about science!
Read More

The Magic of the Washing Machine

11 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

After seeing this TED Talk you will never look at your washing machine in the same way again! It's time we celebrated this amazing technology!
Read More

Sustainable Energy from Algae and Much More!

17 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

As we argue about the future of our fuel sources, we may be swimming right past the answer! Algae can produce Sustainable Energy and much more!
Read More

Solving Old Problems by Studying New Species

14 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

How can studying new species lead to a brighter future? Here's a great reminder that inspiration is all around us, we just have to search for connections!
Read More

Omniprocessor: Tap Water from Our Toilets?

15 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Have you heard about a brilliant innovation - the Omniprocessor - that may change the lives of billions of people, in fact all of us eventually? This is "the challenge of progress" at it's messy best!
Read More

ISAAW: Unbelievable Robots!

18 minutes

[ Education Enrichment ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Do you have any robots in your life yet? Maybe at your workplace? How about in your home? If not now, you soon will! While pop culture makes that future seem dark, there is actually so much wonder in what's going on right now! Take a look...
Read More