11 Dec. 2014
It was a brisk, rush-hour walk home from school when the words to a long-persistent yet inexpressible insight finally took form in my head: there is nothing wrong with thinking inside the box, as long as you leave no corner untouched. The over-expired phrase “thinking outside the box”, which somehow had never gained my stomach’s confidence, had often made me wonder why my instincts would align themselves contrary to the adults all around who seem to use it with relish.
I now understand the missing angle.
Hercule Poirot’s brilliance came not from formulating extraordinary ideas, but by putting known ideas together in a way never before thought by anybody. In fact, come to think of it, all the masters of crime were like that. Sherlock Holmes, Poe’s Dupin (?), &c., to name a few who have elicited “Why, it’s but child’s play!” from companions of inferior intelligence. The order, the method, the systematic elimination, down to the love of square shapes, are all against what “think-outside-the-box” touters pride in.
I believe the image of a creative person is not at all the iconoclastic, shifty-eyed youth with a wild shock of purple hair and a can of spray paint. In my opinion lifting one’s eyes into the wide blue yonder away from the harsh limits of life’s box, or more accurately, constructing a larger box and believing to be looking out of the box, are mere escapism. I do not deny the occasional fruits of unbridled imagination, but the skill of analysing strictly within parameters, in abstraction of what our supposed creativity adds, is what makes the world turn.
It is infinitely more difficult to make something new of existing stock, of what others already know. In fact, the stringent attention to detail, so crucial for discoveries of such nature, would require people to dissect the box into smaller boxes for examination! Enfin, the organic chemist, does he not make most of his discoveries by putting together known components of carbon compounds? And when he puts them together, does he not do it with method? In accordance with the logic behind the chemicals?
Like the English say, “Chance would be a fine thing,” but how many discoveries can actually be attributed to mixing strange substances, mon cher? Method and logic! Ah, here comes Georges with my sirrop de cassis…
©All rights reserved by Melancholia. 2014.
P.S. I have a nagging feeling that something is not quite right with the arrangement of ideas. Are there any parts I can extend, or did I miss some ‘links’? Please comment on the logic and method behind the analysis, because I feel some ideas can be branched and further discussed. Thanks! 🙂