Sometimes I worry that I might be replaced by a computer. Here’s why: I am really good at Jeopardy and I am really terrible at Wheel of Fortune. I’m probably close to Ken Jennings good at Jeopardy and at Wheel of Fortune I wouldn’t get this:

Va__a W-ite

It’s embarrassing. My great memory has fooled many people who think I am smart. I know better. My brain is somehow wired to remember everything I’ve ever heard, I’m really remarkable at recall (and alliteration). I am, basically, a hard drive. On the other hand, when it comes to seeing possibilities, to looking forward and inventing? Well, not so much. Mr. Creative Beast might have some catching up to do, some of you are so much better at, uh, creating! Computers didn’t after all, invent themselves.

The difference between looking back and looking forward defines so much, doesn’t it? So many people are better at memory than they are at creating. Conservative vs. liberal, fundamentalist vs. reformers, accountants vs. artists, those who live in fear and those who expect abundance. It’s a lot easier to remember than to think.

People who fight change, who already have theirs, who represent the entrenched, and the established tend to like things just the way they are. They resist invention, they believe that last good thought came with the Founding Fathers or some other dead guys.

Artists ask “what if?” They question authority, they look forward. They understand that thinking is more than remembering.They aren’t forced to relate every idea they have to the past, their minds are truly free. Artists lead, they solve, they innovate.

Steve Jobs said this:

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

We lost an artist yesterday and I’ll always remember him. I don’t who will replace an icon like Jobs, but it certainly won’t be a computer or someone who only remembers a lot of stuff.

Are any of you up to the task?

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