More than we know.
Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler highlight the benefit of incentive prizes.* They point out that a prize raises the profile of a challenge, believing the problem to be solvable. It also unblocks the bottlenecks caused by the usual small number of participants being increased by new people coming to play. These people also widen the field, from beginners to experts, including people who bring their knowledge to the party from another field. Yet another benefit is that openness to risk and failure grows so the range of approaches increases.
The question has changed, from, “What’s in it for me?” to “Do I have a contribution to bring?” The challenge or problem is the thing that focuses human imagination, ingenuity, innovation, and creativity.
‘It is however, through difficulty and opposition that we define ourselves. The mind needs something against which it can profile and discover itself.’**
‘The noble use all that they are and all that they have for the good of others.’^
Life grows bigger as we give ourselves to a problem beyond ourselves.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s fourth skin^^ is one of personal identity and our social environment – how we’re different from each other and connect with our environment without conforming to it. For Hundertwasser, there has to be freedom from the moral and ideological bondage of rational thinking if we are to be creative in our own way and change the world. There’s also the need to connect with a company or tribe of people with whom we journey. This not only makes it possible to bring our contribution but augments it, too.