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Still More Random Creative Ideas

The following is another collection of imagined inventions, flights of fancy, and questions designed to inspire new thoughts. In other words, here are some more creative ideas for the reader to enjoy or take and use. We start with questions based on making crazy assumptions. This process of assuming something that is not typical is a great way to generate all sorts of new ideas.

Crazy Assumptions

Assume there was only one food for humans, perhaps one fruit from one species of tree that provided everything we needed, and there were no other things that were edible and safe for human consumption. How would this change life for us? Although my primary purpose here is to simply raise the question and let you think of your own answers, my first thought is that it would greatly simplify the whole eating part of our lives and free up a lot of time, so I wonder what would be done with that time.

Let's assume we all knew the date of our deaths. Perhaps (in the craziest version of this assumption), our birth certificates would have an expiration date on them. How would that change the way we live and do business? Financial planning would be much easier, since we would know just how long we had to live after retiring from work. That might result in smaller inheritances for many people, because their parents will have had the ability to spend down virtually all assets without worry of going broke before dying (we hear our retired friends worry about this quite often). What else would change?

Assume that there are no property rights. Actually this is a difficult assumption to even imagine in the extreme. You can't even imagine your neighbor helping himself to your food, since it isn't yours. How would it be decided who got to use what? Would violence or at least the use of force be the only determinant, or could humans somehow transform into beings that not only want to share everything, but are wise enough to know how? Allocation of resources by law requires force unless all humans miraculously agree to voluntarily abide by decisions they haven't made themselves. If a government decides who gets what, isn't that a form of property right that they are claiming (even if done so on behalf of the people)?

 

Party Video Metaphor

Sometimes it is interesting to use or even invent a new metaphor in order to see things from a new perspective. In this case, imagine several people making videos of an all-night party. One person chooses to point his camera at only the happy people who are enjoying themselves. Another chooses to film only the party-goers who are sitting quietly or looking sad. The third catches all of the arguments and fights and crazy antics. Now imagine if viewers of the videos were asked to describe the party. Depending on which video each watched the descriptions would be very different, wouldn't they be?

This is a great metaphor for how we create our understanding of the world and of life. Each of our minds chooses to focus on different aspects of life. Now, to make the metaphor more salient, imagine that the videos were made by pure chance, with a random turning on and off of the camera at the party, and a random moving of the lens from here to there. That's how most of our own viewing of the world works unless we take conscious control. We have to become a conscious camera operator if we want the most useful or happiest or creative understanding of the party going on around us.

Paid-Inclusion E-Book

This idea came to me many years ago when I first started to write and sell (or give away) e-books. It has now been used in some forms. The basic concept is to make a book from chapters submitted by numerous authors who pay to have their piece included. Why would they pay? Because they get to promote whatever they want in their chapter, and you will guarantee that a certain number of the books will be sold or distributed. It's worth noting that with an e-book a link can take the reader directly to an author's website or online store.

Seatball

This crazy creative invention idea is a ball ten feet high with a chair on top. No matter which way the ball rolls, the chair stays on top. Inside is a rolling device with a heavy weight on one end, and a magnet on the other end, against the inside wall of the ball. In this way, the weight always stays on the bottom and keeps the magnet on top. The chair has a magnet or steel plate with rollers, so it stays on the other side of the ball wall (always on top), held there by the magnet inside.

Bead Painting Kit

You have probably seen mandalas or sand paintings, in which different colored sands are used to create various scenes. These are temporary "paintings" that are later washed or blown away. The problem with this is that all of the sand mixes and is lost, so you need to buy more. One solution to this is to have plastic beads instead of sand, perhaps with six colors, each one a different size so a box with levels and holes can be used to sort the colors afterwards. In this way you can reuse the beads again and again.

Creative Cereal Box Ideas

As I write this, probably millions of people have been sitting looking at the box of cereal they just poured their breakfast from. The space there on the back of the box has always been used in various ways, but here are a few new ideas. First, why not have boxes with the photos and biographies of presidential candidates (I am writing this a couple weeks before the 2012 election). The manufacturer could have the boxes made with each candidate and offer to donate to some PAC (political action committee) based on which one you bought. This would be a way to boost sales of cereal. You buy the candidate you like.

A cereal maker might make "advocacy" brands that come in boxes covered with information. In other words, they could create a brand for the the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), put whatever the group wanted on the box, and even give them a share of sales. Various non-profit groups get to put their ideas out there in a new way and raise some money. Meanwhile the manufacturer generates sales from those customers that support the groups.

Alternately a cereal maker could sell space on the boxes of existing brands to non-profit organizations that want to get a message out.

Why the Mix?

I get complaints from people who say this website is all over the board and has no theme. This page is perhaps a good example, given the mix of ideas for metaphors, marketing, politics and inventions. All I can say to them is thank you for visiting enough pages to note the variety and complain about it. The bottom line is that this is my personal website for exercising my creativity and detailing any interesting (to me at least) ideas that come to mind.


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