Saturday, 14 June 2008

Sufficient condition of creativity

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)
English physicist & science fiction author (1917 - )

Creativity is defined as the ability to produce something new for a purpose.

The qualifier "for a specified purpose" is important because random new thing does not require any creative process. Hence, without this qualifier, creativity reduces to random changes.

"New" is a relative concept. Something new to me may not be new to you. It is new to me because I have not seen it before. Once I saw it, it is no longer new.

Since new is relatively related to "observer" and "time of observation". New does not imply prior non-existence. New only requires that the observer does not recognize any previous version of the thing at the time of observation. The sufficient condition of a thing to be new is that there are sufficient differences that the observer cannot notice the thing may be a previously observed version of the thing. [Note: this is NOT a necessary condition.] In other words, creativity is about the gap between the current public versions from the last public version. A creator is a person who shows the public things that are many versions apart.

Hence the sufficient condition of creativity is to make many "private" versions so that the accumulated difference from a public version is sufficiently large for the public not to notice the linkage from the previous thing.

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