Elon Musk, creator of Pay Pal, the electric car, Tesla, and SpaceX, a commercial enterprise for space exploration, has come up with a unique description for the creative mind. In his view such a mind isn’t satisfied with fitting old parts together in new way. A creative mind throws out the old parts and invents something new. The best way to improve upon transportation, for example, isn’t to rearrange the elements of the horse and buggy. The best way is to build the automobile, a different concept entirely.
According to Musk, the only impediment to invention are the laws of physics. Otherwise, all things are possible. (“The Shared Genius of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs,” by Chris Anderson, Fortune, December 9, 2013, pg.106.) Nature may be satisfied with its slow, evolutionary tinkering, but human endeavors — though coming in starts and fits, as they did between the Dark Ages and the Age of Reason, is free to soar, inventing worlds beyond that which Nature provides.
I like Musk’s view of creativity — to construct something as if from the void. The aspiration is both god-like and defiant, I admit. But as George Bernard Shaw observed, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man. (Ibid pg. 108)
(Courtesy of www.wizards.com)