Tuesday, August 28, 2012


“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” 
 Leonardo da Vinci

Raise your hand if you like to build things with LEGO bricks?  If you are raising your hand, you probably had an awesome childhood.  I know for a fact that I would not have the sharp mind I have to day if I didn't build when I was younger.  Hard to describe the feeling of accomplishment that you get when you complete the object on the front of the box.  Better yet, that sense of accomplishment when the thing you created looks nothing like the box and it is 10 times cooler!

The play lies in the simple act of creating.  

As an example of this, I took a LEGO car kit to my Godson for his Birthday.  Within minutes of opening the package, he assembled the car according to the booklet.  Step by step, he created something very cool.  It functioned, but that wasn't the point of the gift.  I didn't want to give him "stuff" I wanted to give him an experience and an outlet for expression.  Children don't gain joy in the completed artwork you hang on your fridge, they gain joy in the creation.  That simple act of creating and breathing life into something that didn't exist before they touched it.  

I write this post as I contemplate my own career and my own aspirations.  I have been told that my joy lies in the completion.  Everything I do will be worth it when I make enough money or have enough things.  This is a lie that your parents tell you so you don't become artists or hippies (according to my grandmother).  Why don't adults get back to the simple joy of creation?  If there is enough joy and love in the creation, we are bound to create something that will aid a productive and rational society.  

Here is where Nerd Culture comes in.

Nerd culture celebrates the creation of cool stuff.  Tumblr is filled with FanFic and other original ideas. Artists and creators find great joy in the simple act of creating things and sharing what they love.  Sure it is great to buy completed nerd works.  Who doesn't want a full sized TARDIS hanging out in your living room?    

We have this great and beautiful thing called the internet, where we can share in the love for the simple act of creating something to be appreciated.  Connecting people who create with those who appreciate the act.  You see the love that goes into each and every piece of nerd created mastery, and that makes it 100 times more valuable than the "perfect" factory replicated plastic shield or mask.  

Love the simple things in life, create something with a child, teach them the joy of building and you will expand the universe exponentially.  There is no limit to the imagination of a child, so why not give them the tools to explore?  

I will leave you with one last thought.  The finished product for a nerd is never the end of a project.  Much like Iron man and his constant upgrades, we seek more.  That is wonderful for the big kids who know their limits - but give kids lots of room.  9 times out of 10 a kid will take apart the thing you liked the best to use parts for a new creation.  LET THEM.  For the joy lies in the creation, not the result. 


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