Wednesday, June 3, 2009

on creativity and complaining

From Hugh MacLeod,
Human beings have this thing I call the "Pissed Off Gene". It's that bit of our psyche that makes us utterly dissatisfied with our lot, no matter how kindly fortune smiles upon us.

It's there for a reason. Back in our early caveman days being pissed off made us more likely to get off our butt, get out of the cave and into the tundra hunting wooly mammoth, so we'd have something to eat for supper. It's a survival mechanism. Damn useful then, damn useful now.

It's this same Pissed Off Gene that makes us want to create anything in the first place- drawings, violin sonatas, meat packing companies, websites. This same gene drove us to discover how to make a fire, the wheel, the bow and arrow, indoor plumbing, the personal computer, the list is endless.

Part of understanding the creative urge is understanding that it's primal. Wanting to change the world is not a noble calling, it's a primal calling.

We think we're "providing a superior integrated logistic system" or "helping America to really taste freshness". In fact we're just pissed off and want to get the hell out of the cave and kill the woolly mammoth.

I'm always saying this to the Technical Staff: if it weren't for people who complained about the way things were, we'd still be living in caves... without cooked food, books, indoor plumbing, the internet, you name it. Satisfied people don't do the hard work of trying to make things and make things better.

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