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February 24th, 2010

Creating creativity

First of all, I am neither a skater nor a dancer.  I am also not a businessman.  I have not idea about whether I can distinguish "good" dancing from "bad" dancing (except I know I am NOT a good dancer) or "good" business from "bad" business; there are some dances I won't watch and some businesses I won't do business with.

Anyway, we were watching the Olympic Games ice dancing competition.  I really enjoyed the compulsory dances and the free style dance.  The original dances seemed, well, pretty "unoriginal." (not to mention tasteless, stereotyped).  This did not surprise me because I remember studies going back to the 1960s that people become less creative when they are encouraged to be "creative."  Probably this is because we all have a certain amount of natural creativity that we don't know we've got, but which expresses itself spontaneously when we leave it alone.  When we are forced (structured) to "use" our creativity, we often "freeze" up and become even less creative than we otherwise might be,  Since there is a certain variety permitted in compulsory dances and certain "required" elements in free style dances, it is completely understandable the compulsory dances might be more original than "original" dances.  This is unless "original" means something like "ethnic," in which case my argument falls apart.

I thought about this while watching CNN this morning as "practical" solutions to our "broken" government were being discussed.  The participants were the CEO of Google and three commentators representing "right." "center," and "left" (actually "far right," "right," and "center").  There was a lot of talk about performance and accountability, but even more about "creativity."  Like most discussions of creativity, it showed little appreciation for what creativity is or how it works.  As the moderator became more elated by the discussion, my own spirits plummeted as I heard the same kinds of assumptions which have lead to failure after failure in achieving a livable society for all its members; assumptions which were proven wrong thirty-five years ago and are now being dragged in front of us again as "innovative."

The problem is that the "kleptocracy" is working just fine.  It is keeping the poor ignorant and unorganized while allowing the rich to get even richer.  This is what government does.  Democracies do it with a facade of fairness, but they get the job done.  Unless we can accidentally fall into a system where power can't be used to hurt people and where money can't buy power, we are unlikely to see any change that is not "just more of the same.".  Marx never said we will become communistic, he only said that we will become communistic or we will destroy ourselves.  Unfortunately, communists, socialists, greens, etc. are not very creative either.  They use the means of the kleptocracies to oppose the goals of the kleptocracies.  I believe in what Gandhi and King and others have told us: the means we use are more important than the ends we seek.  We, and maybe no one else will see our goal, but our means are on display whenever we act.

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bobby1933
bobby1933

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