[lit-ideas] Re: Either this is a tautology, or it's not.

  • From: David Ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 13:09:06 -0700

Is "new innovation" one?  Whenever people speak of "new and innovative" blah, 
blahs, I usually shut my ears, same as when the BBC wrote of Murray not being 
quite aware of the "enormity" of the occasion.  (Tennis is bloodier than I 
knew, perhaps?)  But now I reflect I suppose it's just possible to innovate so 
quickly that one has to distinguish the last innovation from the slightly newer 
one.  Like giving birth to twins.  "Here's my one innovation and look, here's 
his brother, coming down the birth canal.  When he arrives, he'll be the new 

My college is going to have a room devoted to innovation and interdisciplinary 
creativity, just like Harvard.  Harvard's building is called the "Innovation 
Lab."  Ours is called "Bridge Lab," or possibly BridgeLab.  Harvard has noticed 
that some of its best and brightest are sensing that the place which is most 
likely to be open to their ideas is Silicon Valley.  So Harvard's building 
encourages people to ride scooters indoors, to sit on beanbag chairs, to write 
on whiteboards (apparently they haven't heard of writing on windows--the true 
sign of a pressed mind).  It looks nice: 

Yesterday I attended an unusual wedding.  The ceremony was held in Spanish.  I 
don't believe either of the couple speaks that language.  Ah, art students.  I 
had an interesting chat with a Vietnam Vet who had learned ceramics at the 
Claremont Colleges and who...clearly this is not where the conversation 
began...had been treated for PTSD.  I was able to tell him the history of the 
ailment; he told me how he was treated.  Light, party conversation.

My man Murray won.  You may have heard.  No doubt the Stirling Observer will be 
on about Murray for the next few hundred years.  The front page of the 
Oregonian's sport section today: Portland Timbers lose, Hillsboro Hops prevail, 
J.J. Hickson is moving to Denver, the 25 most important people in Oregon sports 
and...small and in the corner...a wee photo of Murray.  AP reporting of his win 
was at the bottom of page two.  No local connection.  

I liked a line in the Guardian saying that Murray was the first ever British 
male to win Wimbledon in shorts.  How innovative.

Carry on,

David Ritchie,
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