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Creativity

This category contains 10 posts

Outsiders

Some would-be achievers like to position themselves as outsiders. An outsider can provide a fresh point of view. An outsider is also someone with an outside chance, as opposed to a front runner. That way others expect less of them. How can someone outside the mainstream be expected to capitalise on insider benefits, or know as much as an insider? When … Continue reading

Bad metaphors

“Osborn pushes the nuclear button”: That’s a clever headline from the Guardian this week, leading an article about the UK Chancellor’s invitation for Chinese investment in the UK nuclear energy programme. The headline is a joke, but also a metaphor. A literalist would read it as a lie. For the rest of us it’s simply … Continue reading

What I really meant to say

The lyrics of Crossfade’s song Cold (2004) declare “What I really meant to say, Is I’m sorry for the way I am.” Annoyingly, the song keeps cropping up when I do a web search on idioms ascribing meanings to writers. But it kind of fits. Do we really know what we mean to say? Does the … Continue reading

Soft fascination

My ability to concentrate on any task is limited, no matter how much I enjoy that task. Eventually I reach a point where my performance is severely hampered, things take longer than usual, and I make mistakes, become inefficient, less creative, and easily distracted. Sound familiar? To concentrate on a task you need to block … Continue reading

Manifestos and madness

There’s something careless, wanton, dangerous, arbitrary, crazed, and appealing about overstatement. The author of the recent graffiti vandalism of a painting at the Tate Modern (Guardian) has a website called the Manifesto of Yellowism — which highlights the madness of all manifestos. A flourish of satirical art-speak tells us, “In the context of Yellowism, all … Continue reading

Interpretive communities

It’s so easy now to disseminate ideas on the Internet, and to broadcast your own particular claim to being the originator of an idea. On the other hand, the sheer scale of online textual and pictorial profligacy diminishes the authority of claims to originality. Digital social networks amplify the difficulty we have in identifying the … Continue reading

Countercultural values

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak speaks up in favour of countercultural values as contributing factors in Silicon Valley’s commercial successes, and as providing keys to creativity. Thinking for yourself, wearing the clothes you like, dropping out, innovating, and rebelling against conformity go together. Of course, there’s a conflict between the “think different” slogan (promoted by Steve Jobs) … Continue reading

De-generation

Occasionally when browsing the Internet I’m struck by the new and unexpected, ie by the sheer quantity of creative production. I’m perhaps of a generation that is still impressed by the volume of newness brought to light by postings on YouTube, Vimeo, TED, music channels, and architectural picture galleries, not to mention presentations of technology … Continue reading

All watched over by Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand fascinates architects. It’s one of the few novels (and films) with an architect as the central character. Loosely modelled on the heroic figure of Frank Lloyd Wright, it elevates and glamorises architects and buildings, or at least supposedly original and authentic highly creative iconic architects … and architecture.

Brain Scans and Creativity

As well as its obvious clinical applications, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps researchers create maps locating brain activity during tasks such as solving puzzles, daydreaming, playing musical instruments, composing, writing and generally being creative. Knowing where something takes places provides confidence that we are closer to understanding it. This tendency to equate understanding with getting … Continue reading

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