Brilliant Ideas
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“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”

– John Maynard Keynes, British economist


“I’ve got a brilliant idea,” I declared.

The year was 1978, and I had just begun my new and exciting career as an advertising copywriter. Ben, the broadcast engineer where I worked, looked up from his reading. He always perched his reading glasses low on his nose and looked – to me – like an old schoolteacher. The rumpled, over-sized sweater he wore seemed in keeping with his rumpled, over-sized body.

“We don’t let them have ideas,” said Ben. “Why would we let them have guns?”

The quote by Stalin was lost on me. Ben liked quotes. I think speaking them made...

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