We chat and post and video and photo and share and like and pin and comment and tweet and on and on and on. We are information machines in a world run by machines.
But machines can’t imagine.
And neither do we, not really, not anymore, not for a very long time.
DaVinci imagined human flight. Marconi imagined invisible sound. Our modern sages imagined infinite knowledge and unbreakable connections.
Which was the beginning of our present’s end.
We don’t imagine because we are too connected, too engrossed in our technology to see what can’t be seen. Instead we confuse iteration with advancement, we adopt rather than invent, we leverage instead of learn.
We have become a world of optimization rather than imagination. We chase dollars, not ideas. We want what’s next as long as it’s familiar enough to tag, track, monetize and scale.
Too much content, not enough imagination — this is the conundrum facing brand marketers and all of us today. We are running up an imagination deficit that will damage the next generation more than the most precipitous drop of the Dow ever could.
There is plenty of “thought leadership” out there, that’s for sure. But there’s a difference between thought leaders and those who merely pile on re-hashed rhetoric, hoping that the increased noise will mask the absence of anything original.
Real leaders don’t have followers, at least not right away. They have doubters and detractors. They are insecure and feel insignificant. They are brilliantly, tragically, unquestionably human.
I’ll take a chronic dreamer over a self-proclaimed leader any day. I’ll bypass my generation’s normal for whatever might become the next generation’s magic.
I want to be hit with ideas so powerful that it’s impossible to breathe. I want something visceral, heretical and gut-wrenchingly beautiful.
DaVinci’s ideas scared people to death. Hearing a radio for the first time was tantamount to witchcraft. We need that feeling again — and I don’t think we’re going to find it by just saying the same shit in different ways.
Screw the algorithm.
Follow no one.
Close your eyes and just…imagine.