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Bret Victor's Inventing on Principle talks a fair bit about how the greats don't solve what are thought to be the pre-existing problems of their field, but find solutions for problems no-one else even realized was a problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUv66718DII

The genius is a genius by the first look he casts on any object. Is his eye creative? – Emerson, Representative Men

(That seems related to Emerson's remark that though he didn't have a musical ear, he had musical eyes. I like that.)




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