Originality: Going Against the Flow

I subscribe to the monkey theor­em, that is, ‘give me a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters’, and they will eventu­ally pen the works of William Shakespeare. Replace monkeys with three hundred million bloggers at three hundred million keyboards, and every topic imagin­able is written, rewrit­ten, reinven­ted, rejuven­ated and rehashed.” ~ Mike Senczyszak

Minkey Intelligence by PeterKraayvanger CC0 Public Domain fro PixabayPersonally I am not so convinced that there isn’t anything remain­ing to write about. I have always subscribed to the view that there is always room for new and origin­al thought, always room for a new concept. Perhaps two people, on oppos­ite sides of the globe, in the same field of endeav­our can come up with the same idea at precisely the same time, there will always be new ideas. But often to get new ideas you have to go against the flow.

New Idea

Something of which I am certain, I may not have the new idea, but someone will. When we think about the world we can as frequently inter­n­al­ise our thoughts as well as exter­n­al­ise them. At times we go though some awkward thoughts before the real ideas come to light, but I encour­age you to pursue them.
The point about ideas, and the point about blogs, is that they open up the possib­il­it­ies for discus­sion to the whole world. It allows someone, anyone to go against the flow. Anyone can take a fresh approach to an old problem. Will it be you? 
One great challenge is that too many people follow the status quo. They are not prepared to break the mould or strike out on a new path. Problematic? It can at times lead to the conclu­sion that there are no fresh ideas avail­able. It can lead to the think­ing that everything has already been thought of. Untrue! 
A state­ment I have heard repeated too many times over the course of my lifetime, one that I have rejec­ted because every week I have witnessed reports of new inven­tions or discov­er­ies from around the globe.

Against the Flow

From a writing perspect­ive, sometimes being contro­ver­sial is neces­sary, just to get people to re-evaluate their current situation. Propose a new approach even is it simply done to take a differ­ent look at options avail­able. New choices become avail­able all the time.
Sometimes it is neces­sary to critique the conven­tion­al viewpoint, even when you believe in it, simply to confirm its contin­ued valid­ity. Perhaps asking what would happen if we didn’t do something, would everything we hold dear, would life as we know it, start to break down? these are good questions to ask.
I have shot the rapids in a canoe. Going downstream is excit­ing as the current pushes you rapidly past the rocks. Careering by, everything happens fast and there is a great rush as the water pushes you ever onward towards the next obstacle, there is a great rush especially as you complete the traverse and reach calm waters once again. You can relax and enjoy normal­ity again.
Do the reverse and your shoulders and back muscles have to do all the work, propelling the canoe against the power of the stream. As you paddle hard it seems to take forever to pass each rock. As you conquer each segment you know it is essen­tial to immedi­ately plot a path around the next obstacle other­wise you will be swept back, crash­ing against the last. The ongoing effort is essen­tial, past each rock till the calm waters are reached once again and paddling becomes, once again, easy.

Which Perspective?

Each direc­tion offers a differ­ent perspect­ive, differ­ent challenges, and a differ­ent set of tasks to complete.
In writing we all too frequently take the easier path (the downstream one) when we should take the more challen­ging one, the one that causes us to go against the tide. Blogs are all the better for taking the tough choice. People need answers to the hard problems as well.
Rafting by Skeeze CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay
In writing the hard work can also be from going against the flow, defying conven­tion. Asking the awkward questions. Yet the end result will challenge the mind both of the writer and the reader alike
There are writers that believe that defying conven­tion is import­ant. They make their careers out of fight­ing against the stream, and we should wish them all the best in doing so. Every stroke of the pen will challenge us, challenge our think­ing, perhaps even change our minds, turn the tide and set us in a new direc­tion. I for one applaud these writers even if I disagree with what they have to say.

No! Against the Flow?

Stop by Kurious CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay.pngThis then brings mus to anoth­er area. There are times when we should vocal­ise in our opinions more. Say “NO” and mean it! But you should explain why.
Most people are too polite to say no. I include myself here, if I apply some harsh, but truly critic­al self diagnos­is.
When we disagree with an idea it is purely the idea we should oppose, not the person present­ing it. The polit­ic­al world, for example, frequently debase themselves, making acquis­i­tions person­al rather than about the ideas. Often associ­ated with accus­a­tions about disloy­alty even question­ing their opponent’s loyalty or patri­ot­ism. 

Untried ideas.

Remember untried ideas, remain simply that, untried, a theory, a concept. By trying an idea we can give it some substance, once tried an idea may fail, which doesn’t neces­sar­ily mean it was a bad idea, just something that needed to be tried. This is as true with business as it is with societ­al change. In a differ­ent situation applic­a­tion of the same idea may result in a differ­ent outcome, so the situation is as import­ant as the idea itself.
If we spent a month trawl­ing through the patent office looking at old inven­tions, especially the ‘failed ones’, how many could be re-engineered to work in today’s world? There are times, places or sets of circum­stances that bring an idea to an inventor’s mind. The precon­di­tions are simply not right for that inven­tion to succeed. DaVinci did not have a motor to fly his helicopter, which is actually airworthy.
Change the condi­tions and it may be possible to turn the failed idea of the past into a success­ful one for the future.


Something we must guard against and this is just because we reignite an old idea doesn’t by and of itself prove the concept has any valid­ity, it still has to be related to our modern way of life and proven to provide benefits, the act of regur­git­at­ing the idea does not by and of itself valid­ate the think­ing. In fact success­ful ideas from the past may be proven to have no value in the modern world. Thus every idea has to valid­ated against new circum­stances.
From the edge of insan­ity to shear brilliance can be a very small distance, it can all be about the same idea, about the words of the writer, but it is also about how the audience perceives the writer’s words and sometimes no matter how brilliant the writer’s mind the audience is incap­able is visual­ising the ideas, the benefits, or share that same vision of the future.
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Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee as a thank you for his  contri­bu­tion on origin­al­ity and think­ing. All images used here are either created or owned by Peter Giblett or have been sourced from a public domain location, such as Pixabay.







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