Technology tends to advance more quickly during times of war. There are many examples of this. Radar, nuclear energy, x-rays, and all kinds of medical technology.
Similarly, many of the fastest advances in web technology were pioneered by the pornography industry. Right from the beginning of the internet, porn was what people wanted the most and were willing to pay for. Online payment systems, video streaming, many innovations in ecommerce; all significantly advanced by porn.
It makes sense that war and sex are two such powerful drivers for innovation and getting shit done. They’re both plugged right into the core survival instincts that still drive us as humans.
In my own life, an upcoming gig will have the same effect nearly every time.
I’ll spend weeks or months working on a new technique, illusion, or routine. But as soon as I commit to trying it live for the first time in an upcoming show, *then* things go into overdrive. It’s like any looming deadline; unless you’re superhumanly organised, your workflow always ends up going exponential up to the due date.
In the final 24 hours before a gig, miracles of productivity happen. Technological roadblocks clear themselves. Things I’d been dithering about about for months get done. Tools I’d been meaning to buy get bought. New skills get learned at an unbelievably rapid pace.
When a gig is not only a primary source of income, but also something you are genuinely, deeply passionate about, it digs right down into a primal core of determination and ingenuity, and can deliver sometimes astonishing results.
If I could just work out a way to commit to performing an illusion that needs clean nuclear power and a cure for cancer, we might really be on to something.
(Photo by Flickr user somethingness, licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0)