The new continuum, though, bears little resemblance to the old one, in that its context is a knowledge-intensive society that is the exact opposite of the knowledge-deprived society of the ancient continuum.
Creativity's peaks seem to correspond with periods of great instability: classical Athens (at war 60% of the time), the Renaissance (Italy split in dozens of small states and engulfed in endemic warfare), the 20th century (two World Wars and a Cold War).
Peace and wealth seem to yield structured, monotonous, predictable lives that depress creativity.
What can we do to raise a generation of Leonardos?
Western world: it would require a fundamental change in the structure of society, which is unlikely to come from the very Western society that invented (and prospered thanks to) the society of specializations.
Interdisciplinary "polytechnics" that teach both art and science.
The Academia does not encourage such interdisciplinary programs: it discourages them
The elite economy has organized daily life in such a way ("routines") that everybody is guaranteed to at least "survive".
The elite economy employs the slum economy in routine jobs
This process results in a colossal waste of brainpower.
When slum people work outside the slums, they are required to stop being creative and merely follow procedures (procedures devised by vastly less creative people who would probably not survive one day in the slums).
Creativity in the developed world: the innovation can be very small and very infrequent, but the effect of the routine performed by many workers is to make that small innovation relevant for millions of individuals.
The creativity of slums and villages, on the other hand, is constant, but, lacking the infrastructure to turn it into routine, ends up solving only a small problem for a few individuals.