Holland Tunnel Vision

Researchers at Ohio State University… excuse me — THE Ohio State University, determined via a recent study of Nobel Prize laureates in economics that there are two different life cycles of creativity, one that hits some people in their mid-20s and another that peaks in their mid-50s.

I have a few questions:

  • Creativity in economics? I thought “creative accounting” was grounds for a tax audit.
  • Aren’t “laureates” what cowboys use to rope cattle?
  • The early and later peaks cited here are thirty years apart. What happens during this extended fallow period? Economists struggle to balance their checkbooks like the rest of us?

The researchers also make a distinction between “conceptual” and “experimental” innovators. Conceptual innovators think outside the box, and experimental innovators climb inside the box to play with the packing peanuts. Conceptual innovators tend to peak creatively in their younger years, with experimental innovators doing so later in life.

I have a few more questions:

  • What is the difference between “ovation” and “innovation”? Is innovation when you give your B&B a 5-star review on TripAdvisor?
  • How could a technical article on the science of creativity include the cliché “think outside the box”?
  • Will the Right-To-Life folks now proclaim that innovation begins at the moment of conception?

The complete study appears in a journal published in the Netherlands, called De Economist (which, roughly translated from the Dutch, means Sleepy Time). Another recent article from the same publication is entitled, “A Note on Artificial Pitches and Home Advantage in Dutch Professional Football,” so perhaps I was mistaken and, in Holland, the word economist means bookie.

The last of my questions:

  • Why are the Netherlands also known as Holland? And isn’t it interesting that, if I reverse the question (“Why is Holland also known as the Netherlands?”), “Holland” takes the singular present tense of the verb “to be” versus the plural form required by “the Netherlands”?
  • And how does the use of “Dutch” fit into all this? In response to the question, “Does it bother you that your country is known as both ‘Holland’ and ‘the Netherlands’?” would the answer be, “No, not that Dutch.”
  • Does the song “Pass the Dutchie on the Left Hand Side” refer to where vehicles should be positioned while driving in the Holland? Sorry… I mean in Netherlands?
  • Isn’t Netherlands where Peter Pan lived? Sorry… I mean Ronald “Dutch” Reagan?

I guess it’s becoming clear here that I’m nowhere near anything resembling a creative peak, and let’s leave my age out of it.

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