What do you need to turn your ideas and thoughts into a reality?
Painting is hard. First, you need the money to buy all of the materials (canvas, brushes, paints, easel, etc...), then you need years of practice to understand the intricate techniques to nurture your spark and flow. All of the arts are like this (I would lump making movies, music, photography and even writing in here). Many of us dabble in art (we create content online - in text, images, audio and video), and while many won't count this as art (because "many" think of fine art when they think of art), it's astonishing to think about what technology has truly given us: it is a tremendous gift.
The gift: the ability to create with an unlimited capacity.
My current love affair with my MacBook Air is well documented. As someone who used to switch computers a few times every year (always wanting something faster, lighter, thinner...), the MacBook Air is - without question - the best laptop I have ever owned. But, it's more than what it does... it's how it makes me feel. I look at the laptop and think to myself, if I were a painter, it would be like having every type of canvas, brush, paint and color available to me (and easy to take anywhere and everywhere). Unlimited choices to create. As something who likes to tinker with words, this MacBook Air offers me unlimited capacity to create words. So yes, technology blows me away.
It's about more than creation.
It would only be amazing if all I could do was create with unlimited capacity, but I can do more. I can turn those words into a media channel. I can then distribute that media to the world (for free) instantly - as soon as the muse strikes. I can share it with the world... and the world can then engage in the discourse. Yes, there are moments where we should all get a little sentimental about how profound this truly is.
What does all of this mean? This unlimited capacity actually breaks down divides. You - as you're reading this - are formulating your own opinion and it's going to take shape based on where you live, your culture, your heritage and how that adds a different prism to my very different background. Still, we come together (or agree to disagree) and in a small way, it brings us all closer together.
There is a lesson here.
The lesson here is that everything has changed. It's not really a MacBook Air that I'm typing on: it's a tool of change (to steal a turn of phrase from the good people at O'Reilly). It's not just a way to connect, share and publish, either. It's a tool that can (and should) kill mediocrity. Just because you can create and publish content, it doesn't mean that it should be done without care, perspective and passion. Everyone creating content will not result in everybody creating great content. The lesson is about using this power to do something great.
Does that stress you out?
It should. I get stressed every time I open the lid of the MacBook Air. I hope the words will flow and that the ideas will please our clients at Twist Image. I hope that I will be able to publish something that will make you think, smile or counter-punch. It is not a computer. It is a tool of great power. I tend to fear it much more than I love it.
So, you have this power... now what? what are you going to do about this unlimited capacity?