Monday, June 02, 2008

Understanding Serendipity*

Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide?

If you are unaware of the annual TED Conference in Monterrey, acquaint yourself with these amazing lectures that cover arts, sciences, and human life, available on YouTube and on the TED: Ideas Worth Spreading website. I'll be posting more of my personal favorites over the weeks to come.

* 1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
2. good fortune; luck

Word History: We are indebted to the English author Horace Walpole for the word serendipity, which he coined in one of the 3,000 or more letters on which his literary reputation primarily rests. In a letter of January 28, 1754, Walpole says that "this discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word." Walpole formed the word on an old name for Sri Lanka, Serendip. He explained that this name was part of the title of "a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of...."

1 comment:

steve said...

For the right brained machinists' take on Serendipity i give you my buddy Dave: