Create Or Die

Creation is in our DNA. Humans are makers. We explore. We play. We discover. We build. We create. We invent. Yet too often we lose it, we change:
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” - Pablo Picasso
The fact is this creative spirit can be snuffed out almost as soon as it begins. It can be programmed or educated right out of us. The precious flame of curiosity and discovery sparking our creativity can be extinguished almost without a second thought.

What about you, Truman?
I want to be an explorer Magellan.

(slightly condescending)
I'm afraid no one's going to pay you do that, Truman.  You might have to find something a little more practical.
(glancing to a pulldown wall map behind her head)
Besides, you're too late.  There's really nothing left to explore.

The class roars with laughter as the crestfallen Truman takes his seat. 

-- The Truman Show, Screenplay by Andrew M. Niccol

Despite the soul-crushing assault on the little Leonardos and Magellans in all of us, we live in a time of unparalleled personal creative capacity. The information, the opportunities for learning and doing, and the resources available to even the most common of us would astonish history's most eminent figures.

What an exciting time to be alive!

You can view world-class lectures and courseware from MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Berkley, Carnegie Mellon, and a hundred more institutions, all for free.

Explore the world, the solar system, and galaxies on your computer.

You can explore Math, Physics, Chemistry, now Computer Science, and much more at Khan Academy

You can use Khan Academy to review concepts & form the mathematical bridge you need while taking courses like 6.002: Circuits and Electronics from MITx at edX, again, all for free.

You can build an autonomous multi-rotor drone, a space balloon, or an automated sentry gun using low-cost components along with a simple Arduino "prototyping platform" and free software.

You can fabricate toys, objects, or almost anything you can imagine right on your desktop using 3D additive printing machines.

You can prototype your own circuits on a breadboard or with software, hone it, and then have it printed as a one-off or mass produced.

You can launch a startup business or project that previously would have required big money, connections, and resources, just by having a great idea, the ability to execute, and sharing it with others. If people like it, they fund it, and you might do something like this (raised $10 million).

You can build your own Rally Fighter in 6 days (of course you'll need $75,000).

You can build applications, program whatever you can imagine, and maybe even change the world

The surface has barely been scratched. Truman's teacher was wrong. There is much more left to explore.
Todd Hopkinson