18 February 2016
Fascinating talk by Kenneth Stanley on our society’s obsession with setting objectives and how this stunts our creativity. Some points:
- You can only discover new things by not looking for them.
- The path to success is through not trying to succeed.
- To achieve our highest goals we must be willing to abandon them.
- It is in your interest that others do not follow the path you think is right (they will lay the stepping stones for your greatest discoveries).
- If you set objectives and know what something is going to be, it’s not going to be innovative.
- How essential it is to protect individual autonomy in any creative endeavour.
- Without care, collaboration can lead to convergence, consensus and mediocrity (compromise for all, preference of none).
- Search processes without objectives are Treasure Hunters. They have no final objectives and let human evolution and innovation collect stepping stones rather than solutions to particular problems. They are divergent and thereby creative.
- Lao Tzu: A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
Try out Picbreeder and see also John Cleese’s wonderful lecture on creativity.