“Hey, Um, Originality Died.”

First off: I wrote this post a few weeks ago, but I never published it. Well, now I published it.

I played Scattergories with my friends in Arizona the other night. I’m freaking awesome at Scattergories, so if you want to challenge me, you’re gonna have to prepare for an imminent and absolute destruction of your body, mind, and soul… Sorry, I’m a really nice person, I promise. I promise!

When I play that crazy game, I try to be as original as possible, because that’s the point of the game anyway. For example, one round, we had the letter “P” and the category was “Things you plug in” so I wrote, “Plugs.” Well, four other people put down the same thi– wait. That doesn’t prove the point I wanted to make… A’ Whoopsies!

So, you know how many people like to be creative and imaginative and stuff? Yeah? And then, when they create something that they think is a “brand new creation,” it turns out that some Asian kid already perfected it and is getting rich through that “brand new creation” as I’m writing this post, right? So then you sit there like, “But that was my idea! The nerdy Asian kid stole my idea!” (I can say stuff like that because I am a nerdy Asian kid.) So instead of looking for a new “invention,” you just work on the thing that the Asian kid already invented (the thing that you thought you invented in the first place), and you try to make it a lot better. You start to tweak, scrub, twist, and tweak some more until your “original” invention is way better than that Asian kid’s thing. Yay for competitive amelioration!

But wait! That means that you just updated the original version and put your name on it.

Not so surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of originality left in this world. Most of the things you see are copies of something that have already been brought into existence. Innovative inventions aren’t as innovative as they claim to be. Of course, we need to keep updating certain things in order to maintain that competitive standard in the business world and advance the established structures that we’ve built, but we also need to be creating things that are completely new – things that haven’t been created yet – things that shouldn’t even exist! Like, beards that shave themselves when they get too long…

You know, I was talking to this person once, I think it was in my inchoate beard years way back when I was merely 18 years old… so, um, last year. This person, let’s call her Dorothy-Ruth-Santander, told me that “systems” cannot be changed. I’ll paraphrase what she told me:

“Essentially, the big things like the economy, the educational field, the media, the medical industry, and even family and social values/principles cannot be altered or renewed anymore, because we have such a gamut of things to choose from already,” she said. Dorothy-Ruth-Santander added, “We, as human beings, are incapable of creating new systems that are able to compete on a large scale with those that already exist.” Dorothy-Ruth-Santander also had her three-point argument: For example, I, Jan Simson, cannot change the educational system, nor can I create a new one, because first of all, the current educational system is the worldwide standard. How in the world can my little ship of educational inspiration break through the ice-covered, snow-laden ocean of the existing schooling principles? Second of all, our educational establishments are so advanced that students and teachers have so much to choose from, so it’s almost pointless to put effort and time into figuring out how to alter and renew that system. We’re already doing a fantastic job, basically. And third of all, I should have shaved, because those three long hairs on my chin hadn’t formed a beard. They had formed three long hairs on my chin. Keep in mind, this was last year.

Dorothy-Ruth-Santander basically said that, “We’ve reached a point in humanity where originality is dead, things cannot be changed anymore (at least not for the better), and we shouldn’t even bother.”

But, dear Dorothy-Ruth-Santander, that’s exactly what those scientists said in the 1800’s. “We’ve reached the technological peak of humanity now,” they proclaimed. And then along came Steve Jobs and was like, “Bitch please, portable touch-screen phones with cameras and music as well as movie and game installments, here we go! Take that, phonographs, walkmen (walkmans?), and CD players.”

See, Steve really did invent something entirely new. I mean, truth be told and haters gonna hate, but he created a device that understands us better than our husbands and wives. Siri doesn’t complain when you ask her to tell you where the nearest bar is, does she?

My point in all this is that yes, we are able to change systems, and yes, we are able to create entirely new systems, and yes, I am going to shave when I’m back home in Germany, because I forgot to bring my razor to Arizona.

So, if you have a truly innovative idea that can help out other people, or even animals and plants, work on that idea! Make it better than the Asian kid’s. There’s some competition for ya (I really love Asians, just to make sure I don’t get gigabytes of Asian hate-mail later on.) Don’t worry about the profit aspect of your idea yet. The point is to create something new that will advance humanity, not provide a semi-nice product that will, in turn, make you like Steve. He’s dead.

So how about it, hm? Create something original, like, beards that shave themselves, or a teleportation device, because, honestly, I don’t really enjoy flying in airplanes. Ever since I watched Cast Away with Tom Hanks… Gee.

We are creative and imaginative geniuses waiting to explode with awesomeness. So let’s light the fuses, shall we? It could be anything, really. A piece of art. A new type of closet. Hell, I don’t know. You don’t even have to create it. Just think of one. In fact, down in the comment section, tell us your weirdest/craziest/awesomest idea of an invention.