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Amateurs are more innovative

Interesting article here by Brian J Ford.

There are many examples of successful amateur scientists and inventors. Antony van Leeuwenhoek, the microscope pioneer, sold sewing supplies for a living. Christopher Wren, who helped rebuild London after the great fire of 1666, was a natural scientist who studied architecture as a hobby. John Boyd Dunlop, father of the pneumatic tyre, was a veterinarian. Laszlo Biro, who invented the ballpoint pen with his brother Georg, was a sculptor and journalist.


Made me think about an idea I first came across rummaging around in Tom Coates' depressingly impressive Plastic Bag

The whole of the mainstream media has started to look towards an undercurrent of individual amateur creation because of the creativity that's bubbling up from this previously unknown swathe of humanity. Mass-amateurisation is EVERYWHERE.
That trend towards amateurisation, while it may have a high attrition rate, seems great for innovation. A little knowledge may be a dangerous thing when you're diffusing that bomb at the end of the Bond film you're in. In terms of invention, though, it seems to be a positive. Partly, I'd guess, because it allows you to think generally, partly, because it get those lateral juices flowing, and partly because it helps you keep your enthusiasm. Because - let's face it - if you're an amateur you don't really understand how stupid you're being.

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