I am reading the book “Where Good Ideas Come From” by Steven Johnson, which examines recurring patterns in the history of innovation. The first pattern Johnson writes about is called the Adjacent Possible, which is a term coined by Stuart Kauffman, and is described as “a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.
Yet it is not an infinite space, or a totally open playing field. The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore those boundaries.”
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