You shall be new, original, and innovative! The first roots of the modern notion of renewal can be found in the 16th century already, but only since a few decades innovation has become a fashionable concept. Governments and business glorify the innovation and support its development through the investment in research and development. We find in every society that government, business, and education systems suddenly work together on these research and development projects, aiming for a continuous rush of innovation. There have been radical changes in companies based on these convictions, which caused that the incentive for innovation has only strengthened.
So where does this progressive idea of innovation actually come from? Edgar Zilsel, an Austrian historian and philosopher of science, found the first traces of the notion of progress back in the 17th century with the first ‘modern’ scientists like Francis Bacon and Descartes. Writing down and sharing ideas and findings became important to contribute to complex (natural) sciences. Where practices and knowledge were first kept secret for the guild only, scientist and artisans now started to share what they found and created the basis of science as we know it today. Francis Bacon was the very first to claim that it is a scientist’s ultimate goal is the progress of knowledge, created through scientific cooperation. It is interesting to recognize that these ideas are only a few centuries old, and the idea of progress is thus a modern idea, while for us it is self-evident and has become a necessity.
Another very modern but also very dominant conviction is our glorification of reason. Without reason our modern science and technology would not even exist. Francis Bacon would only belief what he himself had proven to be right by experimenting, and Descartes questioned all knowledge through extreme skepticism. Only reason, according to them, could lead to real scientific knowledge. But instead of broadening the concept of reason, they narrowed it down to mere theoretical reason, which excluded for instance ethics and law.
Isn’t it striking that ideas we have always taken for granted actually only exist for a few centuries compared to the long time humanity has already spent on earth? However, these ideas (and the humanist individualism of the 16th century) formed the basis of the capitalist and competitive spirit that lead to our modern economy, which obviously is very individualistic and profit-based. The technological innovations that were made during the Industrial Revolution caused an enormous economic growth after 1830, and were the ultimate combination of a growing stock of scientific knowledge and the right social factors. It is because of these events that our government and business now emphasizes technological innovation for economic growth, which obviously is one of their most important aims.
In our knowledge culture, innovation is thus very important, knowledge is seen as the key to a more productive, efficient, and innovative society, and the future is dedicated to the ‘knowledge creating company’. It is visible everywhere around us, the value of education is huge and still increasing, and an enormous amount of money is invested in research and development, mass production and innovation processes. Innovation is a necessity in order to stay ahead of others in the capitalist economy, which is why governmental and business institution put it first in their agenda. But for the sake of what exactly? Do we merely innovate in order to be more innovative than others? Has the accelerating pace of life led to a endless and empty goal? It is like a society that aims for revolution for the sake of revolution, instead of aiming for the society to which the revolution should lead. What is the profit of progress if its just for the sake of progress?
For the sake of being innovative and original, I have a very innovative and original recipe for you today: another very comforting and tasty alternative for pasta. This one is based on celeriac, and has a very warm, nutty and creamy flavor. It takes some time to slice the celeriac in nice tagliatelle-size wisps, but I promise that it’s worth it.
This is what you need – serves 2:
- ½ Celeriac, slices in tagliatelle format
- ½ almond milk or any other plant-based milk
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- +/- 8 mushrooms, chopped
- +/- 12 cherrie tomatos
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp (fresh) thyme
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- handful of fresh parsley
- handful of walnuts, coarsely chopped
- salt & pepper
Add the celeriac slices to a pan with water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes to make them a bit softer. Meanwhile, add half of the oil to a frying pan and fry the garlic shortly. Then add the mushrooms and tomatoes and pour occasionally.
Add the cornstarch and a bit of the almond milk to a small bowl and whisk well until the lumps have dissolved. Add the rest of the almond milk and whisk again. After draining the celeriac slices, add the rest of the coconut oil to the pan together with some salt and pepper, and the thyme. Wait shortly before adding the almond milk-mixture, and keep pouring. Make sure the almond milk gets a bit thicker before you take the pasta from the fire.
Split the pasta over two plates, add the tomatoes & mushrooms, salt & pepper if necessary, and finish off with some parsley and walnuts.