Bending, Breaking Blending – Generating New Ideas

Image by Cole Stivers from Pixabay

Those who seem to be struggling to develop a new idea for research or other purposes might enjoy the conversation between David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt, and Steven Johnson in which they discuss the book by Eagleman and Brandt entitled The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World. The discussion highlights the fact that the human brain has the capacity to generate an unlimited number of what-if scenarios as a way to consider possibilities beyond the here and now. In fact, it appears that the brain devotes relatively little attention to the immediate in favor to considering other possibilities. Eagleman and Brandt argue that it is this characteristic of humans that has allowed the species to succeed beyond others. So, perhaps when you feel like you are daydreaming, you should not be discouraged for you may be coming up with new possibilities. If you are looking for some strategies to generate new possibilities, three strategies that appear regularly are what they call bending, breaking, and blending. Bending refers to modifying something to generate something new. Breaking entails taking something apart and reconfiguring or remaking it. Blending involves taking two things and putting them together or taking something from one context and applying it in another context.

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