Debate and Discussion

The war against creativity
timelike01 at 12:02PM, March 26, 2008
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And I've been aware of the attacks on creativity for many years. For example, a number of people have told me that all ideas have been used up and therefore no new ideas exist. Of course that sort of statment often comes from people who assume that their limited understanding of things applies to everyone.

And then there's the rapid rejection of anything new or uncommon. When I propose a wild and radical idea, the response I often get is, “It won't work, so don't bother.” But even if it doesn't work, that doesn't mean you can't get it to work eventually (unless it really can't work.)

Image if Thomas Edison were discoraged from inventing because so many people kept telling him that his notions could never become practical. Of course in this age of spectacular mediocrity, you are expected to never create and never imagine because your job in life is to be boring and bland. Yet these same folks who attack creativity and innovation neglect to realize that the iPods they love so much were created by people who used creativity and innovation. Ho ve! Ho ve forever!

But wait! That iPod example is not a very good example of creativity. But of course I do have the misforune of being horribly subjected to life in a world that constantly attacks creativity.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
timelike01 at 12:09PM, March 26, 2008
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I've also heard that problem solving is a form of creativity. In today's modern dystopia, problem solving is often condidered an impossible task. For example, the so-called War on Terror is expected by many people to last beyond a human life time. I suspect that's because many people believe it to be an unsolvable problem and therefore will refuse to find a solution to that problem. “But terrorism has been around for centuries and therefore will be around for centuries to come.” I understand that. But in this age of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, the terrorism problem has to be solved or its ultimate result will be a planet that can no longer support life. If that's what you want, then I can see why you don't want terrorism ended. Otherwise, we need to stop terrorsim for the sake of human survival!

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
crazyninny at 7:27PM, March 26, 2008
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I once drew an angle on the class room board at school. But instead of regular wings, I made him have mechanical wings.
A boy that I hated kept bragian about how that was wrong, that angles have bird wings, not mechanical wings. That just by having a different kind of wing on the angle ruined the whole picture.

Luckly, some chick ended up punching him in the face to stop his jabbering. She really loved the idea of mechanical wings on an angle.

Just from that, I got to see both sides of the fence. One side, where a person demanded that everything be riggered and stay in the same line as its been for years. And the other side with some one that wanted to see something new and orginal.
There'll aways be people that will ignore creativity. But, luckly, there'll still be people willing to enjoy creativity.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:49AM
timelike01 at 7:26AM, March 27, 2008
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But these days, it seems like there are hardly any people who enjoy creativity. Yes, I understand that everybody is not required to enjoy creativity. But when creativity is suppressed to extreme extents, then those who do enjoy creativity will be forced to see it forever in decline.


last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
StaceyMontgomery at 8:42AM, March 27, 2008
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Eventually, any society starts to drive out the creative thinkers. Then the society stagnates and falls apart. Historians call this “Bad luck”

(I think I once heard Larry Niven list this as one of “Niven's laws” - but my google fu does not confirm that, so take my memory with a grain of salt)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
dueeast at 11:55AM, March 28, 2008
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That's what got me started in comics, in a way. I didn't like what I saw in some comics and/or I wanted to see new ideas happen – so I made my own. I knew it wouldn't come together in 2 days, it took years. Lots of bad art, bad ideas and mistakes eventually started producing better results. That's life.

I can't imagine a comic company that would have invested in the idea of Due East, a real-life Christian-themed comic with quasi-realistic art and a serious story that doesn't bible-thump. They'd either want the bible thumping or they'd just be appalled at the subject matter and avoid it like the plague.

That doesn't deter me, though, because while I care what people think, sometimes you have to show people what you mean, not just tell them. The idea may sound un-doable – but if you can see it in your head and your hands can reasonably translate it to a viewable medium, you have succeeded.

I've always been content to just try, at least! If people like it, then it was worth it and you learn something. If they don't, it's still a learning experience, so good can still come of it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
Vagabond at 1:17PM, March 28, 2008
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So, 2 things before I respond to the actual nature of the topic:

1) You can't fight a war on an ideology. Bullets typically can't hit abstract thoughts. That's why the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, and the War on Poverty don't do so well.
2) Thomas Edison was a dirty little thief who stole just about everything that he claimed to invent. If I could meet him on the street, I'd punch him in the mouth and steal his wallet. And then go on to claim that I invented the wallet.

Ok, now that I've gotten that off my chest…

In some senses, you're right. People always reject the new and different simply because there isn't a precedent of it working. That's where tradition really comes from. People get the notion that because past things seem to be working fine, why believe there's a more efficient way of doing things? Granted, that's a very simplified view of tradition, but for the sake of this topic, it works.

So really, it becomes an issue of not only having the creativity to fashion yourself a new handy-dandy idea, but the drive and determination to make it happen, despite the nay-sayers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
Catastrofee at 1:31PM, March 28, 2008
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I'm, firmly of the opinion that if naysayers make a person abandon their creative work, the naysayers aren't the problem. It's the “creative” soul without the conviction to back it up.

To use the OP's example, it's not that people didn't claim Edison's inventions would never work. It's that he pushed ahead anyway. That's why he succeeded. And in fact, it's easier now than it was then, because unlike back then, you can get your ideas out to the general populace on your own with remarkable ease. Bless the internet, I guess.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM
lothar at 2:51PM, March 28, 2008
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Vagabond
2) Thomas Edison was a dirty little thief who stole just about everything that he claimed to invent. If I could meet him on the street, I'd punch him in the mouth and steal his wallet. And then go on to claim that I invented the wallet.

that's the best internet i had all day !

anyway , this “war on creativity” has been going on since we were monkeys ! some monkey prolly invented something like a backscratcher and then the other monkey smacked him on the head and said it was dumb and he should just continue in the traditional monkey way of rubbing your ass on a tree .
this has all culminated in the corporate mass media “society” we have now ! where creativity is not profitable . it is much simpler to copy old ideas or paint things a new color and market them as new ideas to “creative” “individuals”
see nobody has to actually be creative or individual anymore , it's all cut+paste ,
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
rofopolis at 8:21PM, March 28, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
Eventually, any society starts to drive out the creative thinkers. Then the society stagnates and falls apart. Historians call this “Bad luck”

(I think I once heard Larry Niven list this as one of “Niven's laws” - but my google fu does not confirm that, so take my memory with a grain of salt)

What is an example of a society that fell apart because it got rid of its creative people? I cannot think of a one myself, which means nothing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:14AM, March 29, 2008
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rofopolis
What is an example of a society that fell apart because it got rid of its creative people? I cannot think of a one myself, which means nothing.

This is tricky because it is easy to name societies that drove out their best minds and then fell apart - but it is rather hard to prove the cause and effect relationship there. For instance, Nazi Germany drove many of their best and most creative thinkers away and then eventually got destroyed. The USSR famously jailed and drove away it's best thinkers and then just faded away. Of course, in all of these cases, there were lots of other forces at work. And then again, there are plenty of examples of nations that have followed the same course and been seen to survive (North Korea is not a great place to be a creative or intellectual person or entrepreneur, but it's still there).

So while the idea is hard to prove - it remains true that ex-Germans and ex-soviets contributed a lot of great ideas to the US - in both cases, those nations would have been much better hanging on to their creative people.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
timelike01 at 8:06AM, March 29, 2008
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lothar just reminded me of a considerable exception to the frequent attacks on creativity: When creativity becomes profitable. Consider this often-seen circumstance: Someone comes up with a new idea for a new TV show that nearly all the networks reject. But the one network that approves this TV show finds that the show is a runaway hit. As a result, all those networks that initially rejected the show start producing shows that rip it off. In other words, if you can find a way to make a new idea profitable, it can succeed despite the war on creativty.


last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
lothar at 6:56AM, March 30, 2008
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rofopolis
What is an example of a society that fell apart because it got rid of its creative people? I cannot think of a one myself, which means nothing.

the best one i can think of is the ancient mediteranian society called rome; they burned down the library of alaxandria shut down the greek philisophical schools and adopted christianity as state religion . the result was a 1000 year dark age
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
parkbenchbook at 12:49PM, March 30, 2008
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lothar
rofopolis
What is an example of a society that fell apart because it got rid of its creative people? I cannot think of a one myself, which means nothing.

the best one i can think of is the ancient mediteranian society called rome; they burned down the library of alaxandria shut down the greek philisophical schools and adopted christianity as state religion . the result was a 1000 year dark age

Yeah but they invented concrete. Who doesn't like concrete?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
cartoonprofessor at 4:43PM, March 30, 2008
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Creativity cannot ever be destroyed.
No society ever consciously wages a war on creativity… the status quo may wage wars on individuals to maintain the status quo and thus, because most ‘threatening’ individuals are on average, highly creative, it may appear to be waging war on creativity.

Creativity is essential to our very survival, without it we couldn't cook food, communicate with others, or even think!

The latest studies show creativity comes from dopamine, people with Alzhiemers disease suffer from reduced dopamine levels, the condition can be helped with artificial dopamine tablets taken on a regular basis. However the side effect is the unending urge to create… recipients of the drug cannot stop writing music, or painting, or whatever.

Every human, and every animal, creates minute by minute, every single day. Some Hindus believe this creativity is the ‘God power’ that is the source of all existence, and that if we were to stop literally ‘creating’ our surrounding world every moment anew, it would simply cease to exist (as would we).
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
HalJones at 12:26PM, March 31, 2008
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Good points perfessor! The only war I see on creativity is the one that seeks to only harvest and control it for a buck. That's one reason I'll read online independent comics but I won't buy Marvels, DCs or any of the current “slick” comics out there. They're creative, for sure. Without creativity they couldn't exist, but they are controlled. I'm not so sure I can call that a war on creativity so much as exploitation of creativity, but it is definitely that. We sell ourselves away and allow others to control us that way. Therefore, if we wage war on creativity, we're waging it on ourselves. But we sell it. And most people have no problem with that.

Only some do.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:42PM
Chernobog at 6:15PM, April 1, 2008
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Edison was a crook with a few ideas of his own, I give him no credence. Bloody figures my state worships the ground he stepped on, but that's neither here nor there.

I can't remember who exactly said, but there was someone in charge of patents back in the ‘50s who bemoaned everything had already been created. One did not need hindsight of 20/20 to perceive how weak that thought was.

There are those who do and those who can’t. There are people who live here and there are people who only live here. (Disco is forever, aye?!!) Subtle differences. Point is, not everyone is qualified to have an opinion on all things entailing, because no one can appreciate or know all that there is. That's what internet pseudo-intellectualism is all about, heh.

It's simply foolish to think creativity won't have a place. Of course people will try to nay say it or what not. After all, people tend to fear the unfamiliar and unknown. Not all creations are necessarily worthwhile, mind you. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. But to take one side so blatantly over the other is just laughable black and white thinking. Everything we have is the result of someone creating it, inadvertently or by choice. I think the greater abstract issue here (if we must indulge in generalizations) is the mouth breathing cogs of society mistaking stagnation for stability, tradition being the best way, and complacency for paradise.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
D0m at 4:26AM, April 3, 2008
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Here's my two cents. I'm going to take a different stab at creativity dying.

Without walking into the art department in my school, I've found ONE other art major. It shows what people value. I don't think it necessarily means all of them have no talent or anything. Everyone seems to be a business, engineering, pre-med or criminal justice major.

My school is huge, so this is kind of sad to me. People always talk about doing what you love, but…

Where are all the artists, then?

Nadya- a tale about what happens to SOME of us when we die.

Currently: Nadya is awake and asking more relevant questions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ozoneocean at 5:42AM, April 3, 2008
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Two things strike me; The Edison stuff and D0m's lament.

Firstly with Edison; the counter-claims are extreme but warranted. He was a bright inventor and knew very well the advantages of the tech he was interested in; was WELL aware of their commercial possibilities. Which is why he acquired other's inventions and appropriated their ideas. People mistakenly think of him as a creative inventive genius… That's not true, he was just a good inventor. What he excelled at was business and being an entrepreneur. He was a business genius lol!

Look at General Electric… He founded the core of that company, today it's officially the second biggest in value on the entire planet (after Exon Mobil, I think…). They're into everything from making high speed rotary machine-guns and jet engines to providing credit services. And still making light bulbs.

Edison was more like Bill Gates than Leonardo DaVinci. ;)
—————————————–

D0m's Lament;
Yep, that would reflect what I've seen too. Anecdotally. I remember back in Uni… Some fellow students and I were running a cake stall on the campus to raise money for our graduation show. We put the stall in the main part of the uni, well away from the art area, to get more custom. many of the students there didn't even have any idea that there was an art faculty on campus, let alone that we were art students! Man, people thought we were economic majors… With the way we dressed? o_O

And most of the people I studied with are not pursuing any sort of creative or artistic career… Man, even I'm only doing that barely, our societies just don't support it any longer.
Even for scientific creative thinkers… R&D in Australia isn't very well supported outside of universities and the government scientific establishment- the CSIRO.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:30PM
Hawk at 3:49PM, April 3, 2008
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D0m
Here's my two cents. I'm going to take a different stab at creativity dying.

Without walking into the art department in my school, I've found ONE other art major. It shows what people value. I don't think it necessarily means all of them have no talent or anything. Everyone seems to be a business, engineering, pre-med or criminal justice major.

My school is huge, so this is kind of sad to me. People always talk about doing what you love, but…

Where are all the artists, then?

One thing my teachers were sure to make me understand as I was just starting to major in Animation was that the world actually doesn't need any more artists. We love art and we love particular people who make art, films, and music, but there are plenty of them to do the job right now. Any new ones will have to fight tooth and nail against the established artists to gain a foothold. At the time my teacher told me that, I was glad for any scarcity of artists in the world. I know that's a bit selfish, but I wanted a job.

Now that I have that job and seen just how many people I had to outperform to get it, I'm not at all worried that the world is running out of people who want to create art. They'll keep coming, for sure.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
timelike01 at 7:25AM, April 4, 2008
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But what about the problem-solving aspect of creativtiy? It's been my observation that problem solving usually involves doing what's already been done and rejecting any new solutions even though what's already been done hasn't solved anything.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Kohdok at 12:31AM, April 7, 2008
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Vagabond
2) Thomas Edison was a dirty little thief who stole just about everything that he claimed to invent. If I could meet him on the street, I'd punch him in the mouth and steal his wallet. And then go on to claim that I invented the wallet.

As has been implied, there's always Bill Gates, swiper of DOS and complicator of public-domain programs.


I think more people are becoming Doctors and Lawyers because of the moola. People see money as the most important thing nowadays rather than dreams.

My sister told me a story about her big-brothers/big-sisters program where her “Lil' sis” said she wanted to grow up to be a surgeon, yet was absolutely repulsed by the idea of dissecting a frog. I can't think that someone repulsed by cutting open a frog would last long doing surgery on humans afflicted with god-knows-what. I think there was one motivator, though: Surgeons make money.

I'm seeing more people interested in high-paying jobs rather than following their passions. I mean, sure looking out for your welfare is a good idea, but getting a career just so you can buy everything you want (And only for that reason) just shows how materialistic our society can become.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:20PM

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