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creativity

This tag is associated with 12 posts

Reverse image search

Biologists have worked out how to use Google’s “reverse image search” to scour scientific papers for similarities between microscopic samples they have photographed and photographs reported in scientific papers by others — on the basis of image matching. This is very powerful. Can practitioners of art and design find equally useful applications of readily-available image matching technology? This weekend marks the … Continue reading

The best there is

Working together inevitably involves compromise. But is compromise always less than the best? Finding the “best” in any situation involves many comparisons, trade-offs, and compromises. Sometimes when trying to find the best solution to a design problem even the most experienced and well focussed individual will alight on something that is better than all the other, similar … Continue reading

Milking human kindness

I once knew someone who carried his money and credit cards around in a tattered, faded and frayed leather wallet, though he could afford better. I once asked why he didn’t buy himself a new wallet. He said, “There’s no need. I have a drawer full of perfectly good wallets. They were gifted to me over the years … 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

Lego logics

There’s been a lot on reddit lately about Lego bricks: How many Legos, stacked one on top of the other, would it take to destroy the bottom brick? There’s lots to learn from toy construction sets, not least how creativity happens … or doesn’t. In the first flush of enthusiasm for artificial intelligence and automated … 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

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