So why is Farmville worth more than Sutter's Mill?

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang reviews the book, "Where Good Ideas Come From," in which the author Steve Johnson writes about fertile places for creativity, and makes his own imaginative comparison between value, then and now.

Granted, the everyday materials Johnson writes about in his fluid, accessible book are not lead or dross, but people, places and very tiny animals. But today's alchemist wouldn't be interested in materials. Recently, Facebook was estimated to be worth about $33 billion, and gold was selling for nearly $1,400 an ounce; that means the social networking company was worth more than 700 tons of gold. We live in a world in which Farmville is worth a lot more than Sutter's Mill.

So what's the philosopher's stone for creativity, the elixir for making innovative places?

That "Farmville" line is a pretty good one. Read his complete review for more.