Are All the Good Ideas Gone?

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It has never been more reasonable to think that all the good ideas are gone than it is now. We see this plainly when we consider things at a elementary level. Is it possible to make elementary, but original insights?

It is getting much more difficult to answer yes to this question, in every field of human endeavor. For example, almost all the mathematics that supposed luminaries like Newton and Archimedes struggled their whole lives to develop is now required knowledge for high schoolers.

And we do not even understand the innovations of our generation. We know what the internet is, how to use it, and how incredibly helpful it is, but we have no clue how much it works, in the abstract or the technical. Without this knowledge, it is impossible for us to appreciate innovation of this magnitude, and entirely impossible for us to generate it ourselves.

We see this even in more benign domains. Gone are the days where a single athlete can be regarded as clearly superior to his contemporaries. Or a chess player, or any other public figure.

But this is not necessarily a negative. The abundance of information available today has leveled the playing field, and accelerated innovation. No more are we picking off the low-hanging fruit, and now we have to aspire higher. Elon Musk agrees.