“Creativity is a lot about anarchy.”
— Nolan Bushnell
Sometimes doing the right thing isn’t going to win you any fans. People might feel betrayed or just won’t like you rocking the boat.
Let’s say you’re convinced that something needs to be done, and you know what it is. You also know that in the short term you’re going to have to deal with a lot of shit being thrown your way. Possibly humiliated and/or fired?
Would you do it?
Of course, there might be other people to consider besides yourself. For exampl, the health and well-being of your family, friends and co-workers.
Let’s say you discuss this with them, are open and honest about the possible ramifications, and they give you the go-ahead?
Would you allow yourself to do it?
Fortunately we’ don’t often have to deal with those kind of issues. However, sometimes we are.
When we are, we’re also often ill-prepared to deal with it. This results in us shying away from having the tough conversations.
There’s another problem too.
We tend to talk through things and imagine what they would be like rather than to have trial period or to try shit out even once.
Don’t get me wrong, our imagination is a beautiful and powerful tool. However, it might also be lacking some useful information that can only be sussed out by experiencing it in action.
That’s why while we may respect other people’s wishes, it’s also important to challenge them. Sometimes by going against their wishes and their approval.
I say this hesitantly because some people might do this in an irresponsible fashion. It’s not a free pass to act like an inconsiderate asshole. We need to weigh these things carefully.
Also, it’ll help if we’re transparent with our intentions. When you say, “I understand that this issue has been decided upon. I will still go ahead as I had planned, nobody else needs to follow along with this and if it results in my dismissal, so be it.”, you also give the other people room to make an informed decision. This is far better than going behind their backs.
There is an argument to be made for going behind people’s backs, too. If we can manage to show that it can be done seamlessly without people even noticing, then this might be a valid tactic. Again, after some serious braining around.
The thing is that some people will inevitably take the Nolan Bushnell comment to mean that total anarchy is the way to go with creativity and problem solving. As much as the rebel in me loves this idea, I also feel that it shouldn’t be done all willy nilly.
I found myself in a discussion about grammar, punctuation and language. It was interesting because I hadn’t seen myself so clearly before.
When we talked about how hard it was to read certain people’s text-messages I got all worked up.
I went into full on Socratic maieutics (why don’t you just say “Socratic questioning”, dick? Jeez!), and asked if we couldn’t see it as a filtering system.
1) In our mind everything flows like water. Thoughts jump out at us at a rapid rate, and we’re usually pretty clear on what we mean and feel.
2) When we speak our thoughts need to be filtered/converted into language. We start to take into account or choice of words, pace, emphasis etc. Expressions and gestures are also used.
3) When we write we have to be even more careful about our choice of words, punctuation, grammar and spelling. For example, “We have ornaments in the colors red, blue, yellow and green” differs from “We have ornaments in the colors red, blue, yellow, and green. The first could be interpreted as the yellow and green being combined as one color (perhaps striped?), while the second with a simple comma makes it clear that yellow and green are seperate colors. I feel the second one looks fugly as hell and don’t use it as a matter of personal taste.
I used this harang to show my belief that the language of thought is superior to spoken and written language simply by being the “purest form” of language. The spoken (also really visual) language is better than the written because we can actually get more out of it thanks to expressions, emphasis and gestures.
Yet, for some insane reason, I still love reading.
Frankly, they’re just different forms and until we’ve solved the issue of transferring thoughts we’re pretty much stuck using the two. Actually, there might be some kind of expression/language I’m not thinking about. Kinesthetic maybe? Let me know if you can think of another/better one.
My point is this, I feel like I’m not a total renegade when it comes to language, but I really enjoy when people break it to pieces. When we use its innate vulnerabilities to transform it and make it more efficient or expressive than it was before.
I understand that you can’t purposefully break the rules unless you know them, but man, do I looove when language get broken! That’s why I’m so thankful that I’ve got people around me who are kind of “policing” me and others. People who know the rules.
Because everytime they say something that gets me going about language I know I’m going to find a way to push back, and push back hard. Also, I know that it’ll piss them off. It’s a small thing that won’t entirely change their behavior or anything much.
In the small things we also find the bigger things.
The reason I’m saying this is because I’m hoping that someone who’s afraid of not being popular or falling out of favor with people will find solice in the fact that it can be done.
In fact, it should be done.
Go break shit responsibly and have a kick-ass ₢eative day!