Why We Need Imagination In Our Economies, Media, and Careers

I’ve decried the lack of space opera – because it requires thinking big thoughts and often thinking of the future, it seems those traits aren’t in vogue.

I’ve recently read a brutal look at the plethora of startups that aren’t original. I had to agree.

I had a discussion with a friend who works in gaming that led to a series of bitter exchanges as we lamented rampant unoriginality.

We can look at economic and political discussions where the same thing is said over and over again. Most lately the dismal attempts at austerity that don’t seem to be solving things.

I would like to postulate that one of the problems in media, in economy, in economics and politics, is a lack of applied imagination.

It’s not just being imaginative. It’s not just taking action. It’s that fusion where you think up new “stuff” and apply it. It’s that ability to see outside of the way you (and everyone else) is doing things and make it happen. It’s the dreaming made real, it’s stepping out of the box because you realized what the world out of the box might be.

We could use a hell of a lot more of it economically, career-wise, and in the various geeky fields we right about.

Of course it’s hard. There’s bills to pay and business models to worry about. There’s people to pander to and the fear that we won’t succeed. There’s a lot to go wrong.

Let me make it worse/better for you – I don’t think we have much of a choice.

Right now the rampant unoriginality we face in the world isn’t going to fix itself. At best it will produce a revolt against unoriginality – and that’s at best.  Of course a revolt against unoriginality often leads to new forms of unoriginality being adapted, so I’m not exactly looking forward to that.

At worse people are willing to waste time, money, and lives not to change their minds.  Think how many people are clinging to old jobs, businesses, and plans.

But for those of us with imagination, maybe we should be using it more, because nothing else is going to solve our problems.

Excuse me, but now I have to go design a Space Opera MMO with original mechanics that will be run out of Greece so I can help their economy.

Steven Savage