CREATIVITY:: INNOVATION :: NEXIALISM
The first question is what do we mean by Creativity? There are actually three quite different processes that are called creativity. The processes all “create” and all have in common the envy of those who do not do this sort of thing. There is:
1) CONCEPTUAL Abstract creation / innovation of new concepts. This includes such things as Newton’s three laws of motion; the Max Planck’s quantization of Energy (E=hf), Einstein’s concept that mass and energy are inter-convertible, mC2 = E; Copernicus’ and Kepler’s Laws’; The Kekule’ concept for the structure of Benzene, James Cleric Maxwell’s’ laws (there are actually THREE different sets of Maxwell’s laws – the Statistical / probability concepts so popular in Social sciences, the Chemical Thermodynamic set of 30 equations including Specific heat a Constant Pressure and Specific Heat at Constant volume; and finally the four Physics electromagnetic equations at the heart of all electrical engineering– Maxwell, a mathematician, struck at least three times deeply into the heart of three quite different areas).
2) ARTISTIC CREATVITY – Communication of Concepts. This is what the painter or sculptor does. It also is the process used by the writer in making a book or Shakespeare in creation of a play. This involves some unusual insight, and communication of that insight via the medium chosen by the artist. Good art will always invoke a human emotional response from the intended audience. Great art will invoke a strong response, even from the most callous and stupid of human animals. The key here is the transmission of a concept from the artist’s mind to the mind of the audience with as much fidelity, as little distortion, as possible.
3) Technologic Creativity. This involves at the highest level invention of new machines, processes, or things. In one form it is Edison making the incandescent Light Bulb, and the hundreds of other inventions he turned out. It is Born / Haber / and Bosch applying abstract Chemistry to create a new process to fulfill a perceived need. It is the making of a new model automobile each year to actually create in the public a perceived need for the newest fashion in order to fulfil the perceived need of Detroit to sell new cars. It involves concrete response to perceived needs, and is different from the first form of creativity in precisely the same way that technology is different from science. Science and Conceptual creativity involve abstract concepts and do not necessarily have any defined direct end use. They are actually in the end are more useful than the limited technological creativity which has a limited time span. The hand loom for example, has been useful for millennia, but is being displaced by mechanical looms.
Creativity requires thinking. It requires us to think in new ways. You can not be creative and just “parrot back” the same old solutions and ideas that you have learned. In fact some - most - routine problem solving skills actually get in the way of creativity, blocking our minds from trying to solve the problem in new or different ways.
To the bean counter and button sorter mind innovation can be planned out and scheduled with critical path analysis to show which things must be accomplished on time in order to meet the schedule. If it can be analyzed in this way, then all the really creative work has already been done, and the project has been reduced to a technology development project. True creativity is a state of mind, doing an investigation of some interesting topic for the love of finding out new things, and it involves a willingness to take what one gets, and not even knowing where this path of research eventually will lead.
YOU MUST GET OUT OF YOUR SELF-BUILT RESTRAINING MENTAL BOX.
People who are not even in the field of study virtually always find the major breakthroughs. (Hint make a list of great scientific innovations and then list to occupation of the one who did it- it will be revealing). Those who are specialized -particularly over specialized in some small field of knowledge, having placed themselves and restrained their thinking into some “box” of knowledge, rarely if ever make major innovations. They have subdivided knowledge into small enough sections or boxes of knowledge so that they are comfortable within one of these boxes. But when they look for an answer that they want, which they desire, IF it is not within their little domain, their self defined box, then they will not find the answer. And if it were in that box usually someone else in their specialty would already have found it. They have incorrectly assumed that the answer is in that little box where in truth it is not. They are not looking where the answer really is, and it is an artificial assumption that they probably do not even realize that they have made which is stopping them from looking for the answer in the right place!
NATURE HAS PLACED THE ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEM WHERE SHE WANTS IT TO BE IN THE OVERALL FIELD OF KNOWLEDGE. It is neither where we think it should be nor is it necessarily where we want it to be. It is where it is. And we must look there to find it. It will be related to other bits and pieces of knowledge, but if those relationships are not Aobvious@ then we will not find it within our present set of relationships.
Creativity consists of looking for new relationships. Innovation involves stating and using some new relationship, and the major innovations involve new relationships that were not at all obvious, and which are dissimilar to any prior set of relationships.
TO BE CREATIVE YOU MUST NOT RESTRICT YOUR MIND. You must not allow yourself to be limited. You must generalize.
This is the exact opposite of the theory of specialization. People were observed to be more productive if they could do some specialize repetitive bit of work and do that very well. Thus the assembly line was born. But those on an assembly line also are worker bees, and unfit for innovation. They are NOT doing new things, and if they did anything new it would totally disrupt the worker bee society. Can you imagine what would happen if the worker bee decided to innovate and put in a wrong part on a new car, or put one in the wrong place or in any way changed the established patterns of work? That also explains why worker bees dislike innovative or creative people. They want the fruits of their creation usually, but do not like the process of innovation. And to them the creative person represents unwanted changes in an established mindless routine. A large part of the population actually hates creativity. They want an eternal unchanging "heaven"--- that would be hell for a creative person!
Innovation involves getting out of your comfort zone and going where no man has ever gone before. If you really insist on staying in a comfort zone, then creativity is not for you, and you may as well realize that from the start. If you like surprises, and want to look over the top of the hill just to see what is on the other side, then perhaps you want to innovate and be creative.
Welcome to an extreme minority.
To quote “20% of the people think they think, 5% of the people really think, and 80% of the people would rather die than think”. To more nearly correct the saying 5% of the people think they think, 1% really think, and 95% of the people would rather die than think. The point here is that innovation is NOT a majority exercise, and in fact is a very small minority. Thus in a democracy, creativity and innovation will always be outvoted, and prohibited. Only in a true republic will the minority be able to function creatively. (Note a democracy is that form of government where the will of the majority is followed. A Republic is that form where the rights of the minority are protected, and specifically protected from the will of the majority. (Robert A. Heinlein in Time Enough for Love asked a pointed question: “Can you name ANY case where the majority was right?” -- and the answer, at least in terms of innovation and creativity, is never).
NEXIALISM is a route to creativity. It involves getting rid of those “BOXES” of specialization, and thus opening all nature to the search to find an answer.
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