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A sharper mind

It has been  a platform of choice for 74 years, and it has  just  been  discontinued from the market.

 

KODACHROME , a color film imaging technology, has been a tremendous successfully platform.

KODACHROME “ analog” platform was born during the big depression and has fostered  creativity of professional photographers as well of consumers.

It was used to capture some of the best-known photographs in history, while also being the film of choice for family slide shows of the Baby Boom generation.

 

The notion of platform is not just tied up to the digital revolution.

Back to the thirties of the 20th century, venture capital and entrepreneurial spirit was quite different from the understanding of the end of the century.

 

Digital revolution could have  put on the spot the instant reach of an invention, still making little difference on how do inventors create innovation.

 

This thesis can been demonstrated in a couple of examples.

 

First is the story of Leopold Godowsky and Leopold Mannes, the two inventors of “KODACHROME “.

A platform for creativity could not have been possible without extraordinary creativity of its inventors.

 

These two  professional musicians took the world by storm, by  introducing a still and movie film and process, triggering a cultural revolution that lasted for more than seventy years.

What does   seem to me quite interesting is that while experimenting how to improve the  process  leveraging on  their knowledge of their study on Physics and Chemistry, the two Leopold used to measure in the dark room the developing times of film by whistling the last movement of Brahms’ 1st Symphony.

Their great passion was undoubtedly the music, that did foster their creativity, I would argue.

 

 

As beauty icon and actress, Hedy Lamarr has been recognized for her contribution to the Hollywood star system, a by product of the cornerstone Kodachrome, the creative analog platform.

She played in Cecile de Mille’s classic “Samson and Delilah” when she was thirty five.

Being a lover of movie history as well being deeply interested in technology innovation,  I got a  two fold perspective of Mrs Lamarr.

In his book “Noise”, Bart Kosko discusses about the battle against the unwanted signals in communications, paying a tribute to Mrs Lamarr.

The  beatiful brunette, in fact,  that played Dalilah was granted a patent in 1942  for a secret communication system based on the modern notion of frequency spread spectrum, together with the composer-writer  George  Antheil.

Still an extraordinary case  of  innovation.

An  actress, who was exposed during  her first marriage to Nazi Arms experts and merchants, and a musician, are recognized innovators in digital communication science!

 

 

Innovation’s exploitation would not last for ever as new platform are going to emerge : question can be raised on how 21st century has been fostering creativity.

Don Tapscott in his book “Grown up Digital” has provided plenty of arguments regarding the benefit that a generation that has grown up digital will bring in these turbulent times, as consequence of their “Net Generation Brain”.

I would challenge the announcement that for the first time in the history the humankind will be progressing due to a revolutionary  new wiring in the brain system of the net generation!

It is not  a matter of personal attitude and  it is a matter of experience.

KodaChrome and Spread Spectrum cases do suggest that the contribution to innovation was really  a matter of fostering creativity outside the box, nurtured by passion for the Arts.

A notion that would resonate with the statement “ Religions, Arts and Science are branches of the same tree”, made by A. Einstein.

Notwithstanding the fact that there will be bright minds belonging to the Net Generation, from my humble  perspective I would rather recommend at every age to  follow “the seven guidelines for a sharper mind “,  Tapscott suggests in his book:

 

1. Work on your wiring, play a new instrument, learn a second language, to have a lifelong neuroplasticity

2. Get fluent with the technology, wiring the Net Gen way

3. Multitask wisely: don’t answer email instantly

4. Concentrate in just one task: deep thought, creativity are fostered best using  a single task focus

5. In today’s fast paced stressed out world  get in the right rhythms, ramping up to peak performance, then give your  brain a break and cool down before ramping up again

6. Practise scanning , instead of trying to read everything ( I would disagree!)

7. Study how to learn the best

 

The final recommendation: find   a mate that does  share your own passion.