CHENNAI: Being a writer of a weekly column, my assignment demands me to come up with new ideas, week after week. I have been writing this column this for almost eight months, and the thing about devising a new concept every week is that, you eventually run out of ideas. At a time like that, we tend to take the safest and earliest bus back to our comfort zones. My comfort zone has always been self-referential humor and being Meta. Well, this is that day.
People have been doing it for centuries now, long before I even fathomed the possibility of such a profession — cooking up new ideas day after day, without taking a break. A job opportunity like this is not unheard of in the artistic circles; art is about creating, and creation stems from ideating. We have been creating for over 2,000 years, with every passing year, decade, century, and millennium, we continue to concoct new concepts and ideas, but ideas like most other natural resources on the planet that we have abused, are bound to run out. So, what if we do run out of original ideas? Or have we already?
Ideas are the metaphors to art’s analogy requirements, but ideas are a necessity in almost every singlefacet of the way we seem to lead human life now; any profession that requires problem-solving, requires ideas. Even menial jobs, such as manual labor, requires a sizeable amount of ideas to progress and to keep with the other technologically driven fields that warrant manual labor. It’s established that ideas are the cornerstones to life’s not-so-frugal monument.
Ideas originate from perspective, and every human being has a perspective that is unique and distinct. Or, is that something we tell ourselves so that we can sleep peacefully at night without being plagued with fears of being unoriginal and cliched? A bit of both. Just like how writing is juxtapositions of words from the dictionary, some original ideas do come from a sandbag filled with done-to-death thoughts and ideas.
What we consume dictates our school of thought as well. Given how we thrive on consumption in this attention-deficit world, we hardly seem to dedicate anytime between consuming one piece of information and another.
Only when we process what we consume, do we form a thought, an opinion, or an idea based on that said piece of information. It is true that up until a few generations ago, the need to form an opinion stemmed from want, and not from peer pressure alone. Along with the information that was handed to a said older generation, this information was laced with the subtle opinion that helped with opinion formations.
When being badgered with information, we don’t choose what we consume. And most of the time, this information is hardly useful, nor is opinionated. When we are left with a need to form our own opinions, processing time is extremely important: a time that comes at a price and is a luxury for most.
So, are we running out of original ideas? Given how all of us are users of the same mediums, that distribute the same kind of content, and there are boundaries to the number of ideas we can come up with based on a piece of information, then, yes, we are running out of ideas.
And when we run out of that one last quantifiable idea, we will go back to the drawing board, and reinvent the wheel; this time around, let’s try not writing a listicle about it.
(When he isn’t writing, the creative producer with The Rascalas watches a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)