On the heels of culling history’s finest meditations on the nature of creativity, PBS Off Book turns to those of the present: We see a neuroscientist testing Graham Wallace’s seminal 1926 theory of the four stages of creativity and an author revisiting John Keats’s notion of “negative capability” — that uncomfortable skill of tolerating uncertainty and the prospect of failure, so crucial to creativity; we get a reminder that everything is a remix and nothing is truly original; we hear the mandatory mention of artist Chuck Close’s by-now famous maxim, “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
So, wait, all of these “new” ideas about how creativity works actually came from the past? But then again, that’s precisely the point Kirby Ferguson makes in the video – so there we have it.
Is code the most important language in the world? Great short film from PBS Off Book, but it’s worth to remember what Debbie Millman so memorably wrote about the limitations of code in a human context:
John Maeda once explained, “The computer will do anything within its abilities, but it will do nothing unless commanded to do so.” I think people are the same — we like to operate within our abilities. But whereas the computer has a fixed code, our abilities are limited only by our perceptions.