Thoughts and boxes

I was watching ‘Star Wars Picard’ on Amazon yesterday and I realised something. Have you noticed that most cities of the future – in film or in books – look fundamentally just like today’s cities but with upgrades and enhancements? Perhaps 1 in 10 is not set in a typically Western-style urban environment. Whether on the Earth 200 years from now or on distant planets, civilizations develop the sort of urban landscapes you are wont to find on Archdaily.com.

We value creativity and the power of the imagination but we often keep within the box, thinking we’re outside. The idea of thinking outside the box is now one of our most ensuring clichés.

It goes like this: the culture we inherited puts us in a box. We can think, live and act within our outside the box.

What happens on the outside?

There are other boxes, but they may be unbeknownst to the thinker. Her own box is all that matters, and leaving that behind is a step forward. A step out.

Boxed thinking is supposedly limited to the confines of the box. The ideas don’t go far, and for that reason, they aren’t very good ideas.

Outside the box may be other boxes. Gutenberg thought outside the box when he rejected in his mind the monopoly of manual script. He thought outside the box when he allied mechanics and chirography. But as soon as he stepped out of his own box into the fresh air of his new invention, he found himself in just another box.