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New Tech Blog: Max On Media
Max On Media is a technology-based blog written by Burke Liburt. Burke Liburt is the co-founder and CMO of SynchroPET, a biomedical device company that has licensed patented nuclear imaging technologies from Brookhaven National Laboratories. He has developed marketing strategies at television groups (Dun & Bradstreet/ ABC Television) and at his own multi-media company. Read Max On Media Now!
Stony Brook Innovation Center Blog

What's Innovation Got to Do with It?

Feb 09 2016

The most helpful topic for an Innovation Center blog would seem to be examining whether innovativeness can be instilled in people the way installing computer programs enables us to do different things, and if so, how is it downloaded, or learned?  Is there a single Skill Set underpinning all the other attributes that are identifiable in the majority of innovators, short of the few savants floating around, and even there?  Do innovations like the light bulb and Internet arise out of nowhere, or evolve as species do: putting similar things together again and again, and how is that done?  

								For the error bred in the bone
								Of each woman and each man
								Craves what it cannot have,
								Not universal love
								But to be loved alone. 

                                                                                    W.H. Auden

                                                            Where is the love
ou said was mine, all mine,
Till the end of time?

                                                                                    Roberta Flack


Last Valentine’s Day week, I presented the original basis for the festival as the one time we are all allowed to step out, as it’s known, and offer our love to someone other than our beloved the rest of the year, who may likewise have felt a longing for you, or curiosity about what it would be like as someone else’s beloved since we’re all—I repeat, ALL—somewhat strangers unto each other, as has been more than duly noted throughout these strange posts.
I’ve also posted more than once about the ridiculousness of the world going on and on as almost unimaginably cruelly as it has from the get-go, and the fervent, fond hope that most of us carry within us of straightening it out, once and for all.  Putting 2 and 2 together, as is my wont, it occurs to me that the urge—some might say, demand—to have some person al to oneself, may well be The Root of All Evil, leading peottple to want land and wealth for themselves.  You’ve probably heard the fearful statistics: 400 Americans have as much money as the bottom half—I repeat—HALF—of the other 300 million of us.  Ratchet that up to the 1000 wealthiest Americans, and they have half of the rest of the entire world’s less fortunate (some might call it shrewd, even greedy) souls. 
On the other hand, it does seem a leetle strange, envisioning a world where people shuffled around the way we put groceries in our shopping carts, even separating those with communicable diseases among their own, exciting though it may sound to those who have no one special in their lives.  That said, dare I confess that I can’t remember a time being in a supermarket during normal shopping hours when I didn’t see more than one woman, who looked like a could be at least as happy as the ones I’ve lived with, and who knows but that they might be a darned sight more capable of ironing our the inevitable wrinkles that occur?  One wonders: with half of marriages ending in divorce, anyway, and a sizable proportion of adults still seeking their first one, not to mention the untold numbers of people who are miserable together, waiting for their children to be of age to handle the debacle, which would be alleviated if they were with other people whenever they liked.  There are already TV shows about swapping partners, albeit to the best of my knowledge, foregoing intimacy in them. 
I’m no sociologist or anthropologist, to say whether the experiences of polygamous or communal communities aren’t as rife with strife—or worse—than the way the majority of us live.  I only know that there is plenty of food and money for everyone on earth to be reasonably happy, and can’t help wondering whether craving to be loved alone, as Auden put it, is all that’s preventing the rest of the picture from coming together.  Could anything be crazier than the way things stand?

WHY is love so easy to find and so difficult to sustain?  May-hay-hay-be the answer to that also goes a long way towards thriving, not just surviving the inevitable economic downturns and dives, which are all too often the basis for loves’ wanes.  Money may not buy you love, but even tightening a family budget and foregoing the occasional dinners, concerts, cultural entertainments, and days at the beach that people normally enjoy—sweating rent, or worse, losing the homestead—can put a strain on a relationship, at best.  Love can fade away regardless of financial circumstances, though.  Work that is meaningless can make everything else seem meaningless.  Maaaybe what makes work eternally interesting is what makes us eternally interesting: continually innovating.
I was at the Nesconset library with a budding artist two days after the recent blizzard, and was struck right away in the parking lot by the way all the tree trunks in the distance, surrounding the field adjoining the parking were still covered with white snow, whereas the trees nearby alongside the parking area, weren’t.  Apparently, the sun reflecting off the asphalt and the building’s warmth were enough to melt the snow off the snow off them, but because there was so much snow in the open field and some still on the trees nearby, she didn’t notice what I was pointing out about how unusual the trees in the distance looked with all their trunks still pure white, until the third time I showed them to her.
“Art isn’t just about training your hand to paint what you see,” I told her, “and learn many techniques, just as a musician does.  First and foremost, art is about seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary, so you show other people how to notice it, too.  Writing isn’t just describing what occurs; it’s selecting what matters.”
We were on our way back from getting new tires for her before the next snowfall, having missed doing it before the blizzard for logistical reasons.  I needed to print out a tax form at the library, and also stopped at the Dunkin Donuts nearby to use a free coupon.  On our way to the supermarket, she said, “That’s four for you, and one for me.” 
“Why try to negate the favor I did for you, checking with three places for the tires you want, finding one that has them, and negotiating the best deal I got for you somewhere else there, by canceling it all out with doing things for myself on the way home?  Does it matter which of us has one up on the other, or one over the other?”
“Friends don’t do things as a favor,” she said.
“Exactly!” I replied.  She was as oblivious of having brought it up, as she was of the trees with snow still on their trunks, far from the ones from which it had melted.
Love is having another pair of eyes you trust like your own, to help guide your way in the world.  That’s why people hire you and what managers instill in teams.

We work alone AND with other people, even when like myself we work autonomously.  Safe bet that most innovations come about cooperatively, if only by having as fine-tuned a mind as your own, with whom to bounce ideas around. 
That’s why working together can be so, shall we say, seductive.  Intellectual stimulation begets emotional stimulations, which begets spiritual stimulation, which begets ... you know WHAT stimulation.

Stony Brook University Innovation Center, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3775

Phone: 631.632.7171
Fax: 631.632.8181