Thursday, January 3, 2008

Creativity and caucusing

The holidays are a terrific time to do a lot of nothing and a little of something. The world slows, brains park, libations flow, waistlines widen. I'm guilty, particularly blog-wise over the past few weeks. (BTW, I just realized we generated exactly 150 posts in 2007 ... that's a lotta hot air.)

We're caucusing tonight. My eight-year-old just asked, What's a caucus? A few minutes into my confusing explanation, he got bored, shook his head and left the room, reminding me of one of my favorite quotes: Making the simple [a democratic election!] complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.

About a month ago Dave Winer, one of (if not the) pioneers of weblogs, shared a collection of worthy thoughts about the creative process. Here are a few morsels:

I've been focused for the last 1.5 months on creating something new. It's amazing how much work it takes to do this. In the end you strive to make it look so simple and install so easily that it seems obvious and trivial. But after all that, if it worked, people are creating in ways they weren't before. That's the gratification available to creativity. These days it's rarely rewarded with money. Okay, that's the way it goes, and in some sense is the way it's always been. The reward of art is insight. The reward of achievement is the possibility of more achievement. Having done it once, you always want to do it again, the next time on your terms, but it never works out that way. Permalink to this paragraph

Creativity is a process like seduction. The idea has to be teased out, you have to come at it straight on, then from the side, then sneak up from the rear. It isn't until you understand all facets of a problem that the solution is revealed, and then, if it's really a solution, it reveals a whole new class of problems. (The joy of platforms.) Permalink to this paragraph

Smart post. The seduction reference is so true, and it's wonderfully relevant -- tease, tease, tease -- to my previous post about first dates. Speaking of first dates, go Barack.

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