Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Difficulty and Creation

Want to be more creative?  Make things hard.

Ian Leslie in Intelligent Life points out that making things intentionally hard for yourself can lead to greater creativity.  Jack White and the Beatles are ominously 'anecdoted' at the start, in line with a common trope of the science-help industry, but it picks up after that, and even references an obscure study showing that writing on a leaf of paper activates through having to compress a thought more delicate parts of the brain than typing on a laptop.

I wonder if the advent of MS Excel had a similar effect on business enterprise...

And obstacles are good too, random obstances, or hard obstacles that barrier deep desire.  However, for these reasons I had to disagree with his contention that lack of money is a useful obstacle (it is in fact a block on creativity due to the opportunity cost of mundane decisions).

He finishes by arguing that the limits or lengths imposed by twitter or blogger respectively can be a boon to creativity by compressing the available space for productive output, and this dovetails with the elegant 'cultural bits' argument of Tyler Cowen (where the internet allows us to sample and choose from a plethora of random cultural output in small chunks).

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