“A writer is supposed to have anonymity.”
— Joss Whedon
A while back I read a book called “Invisibles” by David Zweig, at the time I was critical about the book and there are still things in it I consider bullshit. One thing changed a couple of days ago.
It was oddly enough chess that made me think about it. The fact that noone knows who invented the game, yet approximately 600 million people play the game today.
There’s a story about the inventor of chess wanting to show Shihram, the King of India, how important all the people were. Shihram was so impressed by this that he offered the inventor endless riches.
However, the inventor said he only had one request, that Shihram begin by placing one grain of wheat on the first square on the board, two on the second and keep doubling up until he reaches the 64th square.
Shihram promptly ordered his servants to begin the task. After a while one of the servants approached Shihram and said they couldn’t do it. So, Shihram asked why and the servant explained that all the wheat in his kingdom and others weren’t enough to fulfill the wish.
When you do the math you realize that the compound effect at work would mean a total of about 18,446,744 trillion (18,446,744,000,000,000,000) grains of wheat. One kilogram (2.2 pounds) is about 15,000 grains.
This story is most likely not true. It does however illustrate the power of not knowing who invented the game.
What if we knew? What if the person was completely dispicable except for the fact that they created this game? What if it was in fact several people working together to create it?
Well, it kind of is. You see, the chess we play today was shaped in the 15th century in southern Europe.
While the glory perhaps should go to one or more people, so many hands have made their mark on the game since its inception roughly 1,500 years ago.
My point is this, at times we need to market the shit out of ourselves to get ahead, or at the very least have someone do it for us.
Valuable ideas need to spread and have an opportunity to make an impact. They shouldn’t be held back simply because we’re shy or want to maintain our privacy.
Then there are times where having the person behind the idea and the idea itself intervowen. If we come to associate something with that person and the person shows themselves to be less than ideal then we start imagining that the idea must lack merit as well.
We must remember that these two things are independent of each other. Both for our own sake and that of others.
An idea is a collaboration with the recipient who injects their own dreams, hopes and aspirations.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!