The U.S. consumer confidence has fallen. The Dow has hit a five-month low, the Nasdaq a six-month low. Job creation continues to be anemic. With the economy in the doldrums, innovation should be high on everyone's agenda. Fresh ideas are the lifeblood of entrepreneurs. Innovation is the United States' strength in global competition. Today’s business leaders crave innovation. But some of them worry that the United States is headed for a shortage of thinkers who dream up fresh ideas. The culprit is no longer just the public schools; it is the increasing war between science and religion. The same week that Silicon Valley executives from the United States' innovation capital asked me if the United States had lost confidence, the most popular national television program was a religious drama about the end of the world. Earlier this month also brought a New York Times editorial accusing U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of pursuing a “religious war” over federal judge selections, by portraying Democrats who block the president's nominees as “against people of faith.” Pushing orthodoxy over inquiry is anti-innovation. Innovation is essential to secure the future of our economy. This involves more than technology (wireless communications, medical devices, hybrid cars) but also includes creativity in the public realm. Here's one example of how innovation can provide a breakthrough solution―but only by challenging orthodoxy. My friend Cindy Laba has received wide acclaim for a new concept with national promise: a school that offers an extra 15 months of education between eighth and ninth grades, to help low-income public school students compete for entry to elite private and public high schools. Beacon Academy will enroll its first batch of students in July, with the approval of the Boston School Committee. I call the mind-set required for innovation “kaleidoscope thinking.” Kaleidoscopes work the way our brains do when we dream, or when we have creative breakthroughs. A kaleidoscope is a device for making patterns. If you shake it, twist it, change angle or change perspective, the same fragments form an entirely different pattern. Often it's not reality that's fixed; it's our perspective on reality. Minds can become closed to even apparent changes if rituals and rules require only one correct pattern. Kaleidoscope thinking is essential for innovation. Innovators imagine how things could be, rather than feeling stuck with today's options. Every new idea starts out as someone's silly thought―silly only because previously unthinkable. It's one thing to be skeptical of new ideas. It's another to forbid people to think them in the first place. That's my fear―that our kaleidoscopic brains will get locked into one set of “correct” beliefs, stifling innovation. Actually the tension is not between religion and science per se. Both can contain rigid assumptions, and both can support the search for insight. The real tension is between orthodoxy and creativity. I don't know if faith can move mountains, but I do know that imagination can move economies. I hope that politicians drop holier-than-thou posturing and encourage more kaleidoscopic thinkers to build businesses and solve the United States' problems.
2段落の解説 Earlier this month also brought a New York Times editorial accusing U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of pursuing a “religious war” over federal judge selections, 今月はじめにNew York Timesの社説がBill Fristを「連邦裁判官の人選に関して宗教戦争を仕掛けている」と非難した。 by portraying Democrats who block the president's nominees as “against people of faith.” 大統領による判事の指名を妨害する民主党員を、「信仰を持つ人々(クリスチャン)に反する」と描写することによって。 上をユーモラスにわかりやすく説明し直すと ①民主党は（共和党系）大統領による判事の指名に反対した。 ②それを今度はBill Frist（共和党）が、「民主党の連中を信仰心がない奴等」と描写した。 ③これに、新聞が「おいおい、宗教戦争しかけてる場合か？」とだめ出しした。 と、こういう風になります。「どや！英文（和文）」を小学生でもわかるように、書き換える力、それこそが国語力（文章理解力）であり、「考える」力なのです。どや！＾＾