Bock: “Humans are by nature creative beings, but not by nature logical, structured-thinking beings. Those are skills you have to learn. One of the things that makes people more effective is if you can do both.”
Category Archives: creativity
IN INDIA, THE INVENTOR OF A MACHINE TO MAKE SANITARY PADS:
“Luckily I’m not educated,” he tells students. “If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop… Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future.”
AT GOOGLE, THE CREATOR OF GMAIL:
“Very often, if you do something new, the actual feedback people will say is, ‘This is what we tried before and it doesn’t and won’t work,’” he says. “If you’re naive, you may not even realize that it’s been tried and didn’t work,” he says. “We tend to overlearn from the past. Just because something didn’t work in the past, doesn’t mean that it can’t work in the future–especially in technology where things are constantly changing. Maybe the technology changed, the world has changed, or you’re just simply taking a different approach. All these people [at Google] were telling me that it was a bad idea and it would fail,” he says. “But I didn’t really care, I thought they were all wrong and tried it anyway–and it worked.”
Ignorance Is the Mother of Invention
“The truth is I never tried to come up with a new style; I was just never taught the way you’re supposed to do it. When you’re never taught the way you’re supposed to do things, you find your own path. Story is all I care about, I’m not a good enough writer, so I needed the images to hide behind. Embracing my ignorance is what yielded my style.”
“I am 57 and I am a programmer, the same way Martin Scorcese is 70 and is a movie director. Or Ron Howard is 59, and Rob Reiner is 66. And that’s just film.”
– Dave Winer
Some of us adults are a bit stuck on writing. Don’t get me wrong, writing of all types in the 21st century is still tremendously important. But there are some other forms of communication most schooling seems to have forgotten about. Well, not exactly forgotten… more likely in more cases not feeling up to the challenge.
- Audio (Radio Programs, Music, Internet: podcast only productions)
- Video (Movies, Shorts, Commercials, Internet: Video blogs/reviews/youtube)
Cheap computing power and the interwebs have brought tools of creation, collaboration and distribution to the 99% that would have been unthinkable to even the “professionals” of only just half a generation ago working in expensive studios.
And of course, being able to organize one’s thoughts OR produce a creative or compelling product is still what it is all about. That’s no different than with writing — all have in common the ability to sit down and collect one thoughts to put together something a little different than live performance or “face-to-face” (or Facetime) communication.
That’s the real question… what do you want to say?
So get to it people (I include myself of course…) Writing isn’t everything. It’s just one way. I would say it’s “just the beginning” except that I don’t think the order is clearcut either as it’s now possible to use things like an $150 iPod Touch to film, edit and publish videos before one is even able to write well or much (or at all). A and his friends can do this. And sure, there is still expensive editing equipment and methods one can maybe learn best from someone who is doing it. But don’t underestimate what one can do with 10,000 hours of one’s own time and a FINAL CUT PRO FOR DUMMIES type of book and explanatory youtube walkthrus and tutorials.
(I would personally spend my time tinkering with solar energy, but hey ok, to each their own!)
(as read on Google+)
At 10, he built his first bomb.
At 11, he started mining for uranium and buying vials of plutonium on the Internet.
At 14, he made a nuclear reactor.
Wilson got his start on Fusor.net, a website where nuclear hobbyists who call themselves “fusioneers” fill message boards on topics that would enthrall only the geekiest subset of society, like “So where can I get a deal on deuterium gas?” The goal of every fusioneer is to build a reactor that can fuse atoms together, a feat first achieved by scientists in 1934.
“I’m obsessed with radioactivity. I don’t know why,” says Wilson in his laid-back drawl. “Possibly because there’s power in atoms that you can’t see, an unlocked power.”
Taylor Wilson (born 1994) is an American nuclear scientist who was noted in 2008 for being the youngest person in the world (at age 14) to build a working nuclear fusion reactor.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy offered federal funding to Wilson concerning research Wilson has conducted in building inexpensive Cherenkov radiation detectors; Wilson has declined on an interim basis due to pending patent issues. Traditional Cherenkov detectors usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD), while Wilson invented a working detector that cost a few hundred dollars.
In May 2011, Wilson entered his radiation detector in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair against a field of 1,500 competitors and won a $50,000 award.
The Boy Who Played With Fusion
You can choose to believe that this child is special and especially gifted, and that may be so. I choose to believe that this means that children should be allowed to specialize at younger ages… They should be taught how to get the answers they might need for themselves, not from teachers.
“[S]he [Amy Chua] is not really rebelling against American-style parenting; she is the logical extension of the prevailing elite practices. She does everything over-pressuring upper-middle-class parents are doing. She’s just hard core.”
“I have the opposite problem with Chua. I believe she’s coddling her children. She’s protecting them from the most intellectually demanding activities because she doesn’t understand what’s cognitively difficult and what isn’t.”
ARTICLE LINK: Amy Chua Is a Wimp (and don’t forget to click on the Comments…. Highlights tab … “There is a middle way between these two extremes.”)
Actually, I think it’s like any duality… it’s both easy and hard to be a kid with a parent like the “Tiger Mother”… easy because you don’t have to choose (freedom is difficult)… hard because playing the piano or doing math problems for hours and hours against your will is not fun!
So I think David Brooks would think SVS is interesting in that it is the true opposite of the parenting and educational approach the Tiger Mother took. High standards, but standards that come FROM WITHIN each person, not from their parents.
- Sudbury Valley – the Easiest School or the Hardest? (a written version of this talk was also published in the SVS Journal, Volume 40, Number 1, Fall 2010)
- Stupid white man criticizes smart Chinese woman
- Gender & the Brain: A New View (Chua has 2 girls, so it made me think… what if she had boys?)
- Video Games Boost Brain Power, Multitasking Skills
(also depression?) (and childhood obesity?)
- Organic Intelligence, Toy Story and “What Did You Do In School Today?” (SVS Journal, Vol 40, Num 1, Fall 2010)
- A longer Brook’s article on this same theme: “The meal was delightful, but it [a first date] was also a rigorous intellectual exam that made the S.A.T. seem like tic-tac-toe.” ARTICLE LINK: “the Composure Class” (seems partially an attempt to followup on his BOBO word from 2000 but bear with him! Good description of attachment parenting “Thanks to his mom’s attunement, he became confident that if he sent a signal it would be received. Later in life, his sense of security enabled him to go out and explore the world.”)
Interesting article on the decline of creativity in the US (from Newsweek recently…)
“Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers. Jonathan Plucker of Indiana University recently reanalyzed Torrance’s data. The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.”
“When scholars gave creativity tasks to both engineering majors and music majors, their scores laid down on an identical spectrum, with the same high averages and standard deviations. Inside their brains, the same thing was happening—ideas were being generated and evaluated on the fly.”
“highly creative adults tended to grow up in families embodying opposites. “
“highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship”
“those high in creative self-efficacy had more confidence about their future and ability to succeed. They were sure that their ability to come up with alternatives would aid them, no matter what problems would arise.”
“A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern.”
“Since , creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.””
Wow. Of course I see everything with Sudbury Valley School tinted glasses, so yes, this last quote tells me it is even more important to get your kids to SVS or another Sudbury Valley School on the double when they are still in elementary school. No need to wait until they are getting progressively more miserable in Middle School/Junior High/High School.
Suggested is a “creativity class” because of the studies showing that creativity can be “taught”. But I’m not sure why a class since all it seemed to really say is that very accomplished people in any field or sport are able to improvise better.
Also suggested are “team projects”. But what if you are not interested in working on a proposal for how to reduce noise in the library (an example from the article). Too bad! I guess that’s why I like SVS over other alternatives like project-based curriculum. You are free to do as you wish. Not free within a pre-set outline of acceptable topics or things to be doing. Really free. Sounds like a good breeding ground for creativity to me!
That said, in the end I think one’s family situation has a lot to do with this stuff. I don’t expect schools to raise kids, and as found in the article, family circumstances and environments had a definite impact.
OK, that’s all I wanted to say. Interesting article.