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"What is it to hack? It's knowing a technology so well that you can manipulate it and steer it to do things it was never intended to do." -- Rodney Mullen
How Context shapes Content: What skateboarding and innovation have in common

"It's such a privilege to be on this campus, because I've been escorted off it so many times." So says pioneering skateboarder Rodney Mullen in his TEDxUSC talk about the connection between street skating and innovation. 

The first half of the talk is about street skateboarding and demo of some of the key innovations; the second half is about how Rodney sees the streetscape against the backdrop of what is possible.  I've always loved Wallace Stevens' line about how poetry "searches the possible for its possibleness."  Here, it's clear that street skating does too. 

Rodney points out how the principles of the street skating community are similar to those of open source developers: take what you get from others, reinvent and extend it, and give it back.  And he celebrates the outlaws, the notion that creativity sometimes means crossing the lines. "Not exactly illegal, but unauthorized."

I also love Rodney's celebration of what matters in life: not fame, not success, but the joy of creating and sharing. What an inspiring end to the talk!

P.S. This was an awesome piece to watch on my birthday, since Rodney's closing remarks totally echo how I think about my own work.

Thanks, +Krisztina Holly for introducing me to Rodney!
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