I found a video by John Cleese via Presentation Zen that continues some of the themes from my last post on creativity. I’m not entirely convinced by all the hyperventilating people who claim that the internet is making us stupid. But I do think there is a serious concern about the drawbacks of multitasking, and excessive attention to social media.
One key to being more creative, says Cleese, is to avoid interruption.
Crises come and go. I think if you look deep enough into any field you can probably find a crisis brewing and probably a few that were brewing a few years or decades ago. There’s something that appeals to our hind brain whenever someone lets loose the cries of crisis. Just look at how long we’ve been inundated in the “education crisis.” (N.B. Education does have serious problems, I’m talking about the trope/rhetoric of crisis, not the specifics of education)
Glenda Eoyang from the Human Systems Dynamics Institute presented at the Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum yesterday. She gave a polished presentation on complexity and human systems.
She started by distinguishing two perceptions of time: linear and pragmatic. Linear time is what we usually envision time to be - a straight line from the past into the future. There are a lot of problems with this view and we spent some time talking about them as a group.
People will laugh at me? Not the people I respect; they haven’t yet and they’re not going to start now. Someone has done it before? Honey, it’s all been done before. Nothing’s really original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself. I have nothing to say? An irrelevant fear. We all have something to say. Plus, you’re panicking too soon. If the dancers don’t walk out on you, chances are the audience won’t either.
Here’s a list of interesting items that crossed my radar in the last week. I don’t have much to add to what’s said below, this is more a manner of keeping track of my interests at this point in time.
The future of humanity
Bruce Sterling dialoging at the WELL Joe Bageant laying into American complacency. More from an anti-consumerist point of view. James Howard Kuntsler laying into American energy complacency Some thoughts on interesting technology
I watched the movie [Crumb]() many years ago. I was mostly interested in the biography of the creative artist instead of Crumb’s work in particular. Crumb clearly had problems and a twisted family life that scarred him and his siblings. The link between suffering, depression, and art is long and twisted. Two books, The Wound and the Bow by Edward Wilson and Touched with Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison, are worth considering.
Back in June the Cato Unbound web site ran a short debate between Richard Florida, of Rise of the Creative Class fame, and three other economists called “The Future of Work.” Strangely enough the exchange didn’t force me to start pulling my hair out because of unwarranted claims about the utter brilliance of the free market, something I expect whenever I come into contact with the Cato Institute.
Florida basically summarized his major thinking in four points.
It’s been twenty-three days since I began this effort at daily writing. So has it been worthwhile? Thinking aloud in a semi-public manner has a strange appeal. Some people read these writings or at least web browsers keep making requests for the pages. Fewer still leave comments. But that’s alright. It’s mostly been useful to me as a way to clear out the cobwebs and to speak about the concerns that I have.
Two summers ago I took a writing class at the Loft writing center in Minneapolis. The class was called ‘The Writing Habit’ and taught by Roseanne Bane. The main thrust of the class was to work on writing as a habit, something that you do regularly, day in and day out. The same sentiment was expressed by Jane Yolen at Wiscon this year when she said, “a writer writes.” The advice to do it, and do it consistently, is one of the main themes I’ve heard from writer’s offering advice to other wannabe writers.
An intriguing interview with Jim Griffin at the Register about the intersection of technology in the form of wireless, piracy and creativity. He begins with a very promising start, at least to my ears:
We have to start with the a priori notion that we must democratize access to art and knowledge. That’s a baseline notion of a civilized society. We have libraries that will get you any movie, and any song, and any book; and price or money should not stop you hearing those songs.