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Philosophy

Leonardo da Vinci: Drowning in Imagination

Unable to focus on singular topics or projects for very long, was Leonardo da Vinci an embodiment of innovation as a specialist generalist for the information age, 500 years too early; or, was an information and technology revolution 500 years too late?

Beyond wistful anecdotes and instructive historical vignettes, it is useful to consider that this kind of omnidirectional, creatively effervescent intellect represents a template case for what is infrequently celebrated in retrospect, rarely acknowledged while a person still lives. That is, an aptitude for cultivating and exploring the art of curiosity and intellectual creativity has value far in excess of whichever normative cultural and historical context any person finds themselves inhabiting. We commonly assert value as a utility to maintain and replicate the contingent conceptual vocabularies and behavioural grammars of a historical moment and a cultural location but fail to recognise that it is the exception, the unorthodox and the unexpected (as manifest entropy) that provides momentum.

Pragmatic rationalists will keep the ship afloat but it is the dreamers who will find new places, new adventures and the unbounded freedoms of new ideas to explore. Finding a balance between these two cognitive styles is as difficult within as between minds but it is invaluable.

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