October 2, 2013
Edward Snowden said yesterday:
The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.He’s right. Anonymity and privacy increase innovation.
Anyone who has ever played a musical instrument knows that you need time to experiment and try new things in the privacy of your home – or your band’s garage – in order to improve. If every practice was at Carnegie Hall in front of a big crowd, you would be too self-conscious to experiment and try something new.
Same with every other field. Think of an artist painting in the middle of a major museum. Or a beginning programmer (think of a young Bill Gates or Steve Jobs) whose code is being livecast all over the Internet. Or a brilliant inventor (such as a leaner Elon Musk) whose first rough sketch is being dissected in real time.