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Thread: Will the Digital Age Destroy Creativity?

  1. #1 Will the Digital Age Destroy Creativity? 
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    Will the Digital Age Destroy Creativity?

    Solitude makes it possible for us to gain access to our most inner reality. Through solitude we find the ability to sort out the structure of our thoughts, to gain access to the meaning of our ideas and attitudes. Solitude provides access to our imagination.

    Imagination and reason are the aspects of the embodied mind, which, in levels of sophistication, sets our species off from our nearest non-human species. It is imagination that provides man with the flexibility to adjust to a changing environment but it is imagination that also robs man of contentment.

    Our non-human ancestors are guided by instinct alone. Instinct is the impulse that determines the behavior in a pre-programmed response. But our species has added to this survival response system a high level of imagination, which allows us to fit into a changing environment for survival. Reason and imagination determines the destiny of the species. Discontentment, bred by imagination, motivates man to seek a different way; reason facilitates the change by offering the options for change. The discontent of imagination is the catalyst for adaptation.

    The product of imagination can become either reality and fantasy. Fantasy can provide an escape from reality or, as is evident in our accomplishments of science and the arts, it provides the ingredients for new ideas, which like the theories of Newton and Einstein establish the paradigms for technology.

    Freud wrote, in his paper Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming, “We may lay it down that a happy person never phantasies, only an unsatisfied one. The motive forces of phantasies are unsatisfied wishes, and every single phantasy is the fulfillment of a wish, a correction of an unsatisfied reality.” Critical Thinking, i.e. evaluative thinking not negative thinking, makes a correction of an unsatisfactory reality possible.

    Freud considered fantasy was an escapist practice, a turning away from reality rather than a confrontation with reality in attempted change. He considered fantasy as a derivative of play; the child, in growing older, turned from fantasy focused upon an object to castles in the air. Freud theorized that the pleasure principle was replaced by the reality principle.

    Present day psychology considers that fantasy is part of our biological endowment and that the discrepancy between our inner world and our outer world compels man to become inventive thereby leading to an active imagination. Imagination is the attempt to bridge the inner world and the outer world of man. Imagination is the engine of play.

    Goya wrote “Phantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels.”

    Do you often seek solitude?

    In our Digital Age is solitude possible for young people?

    Will the Digital Age destroy solitude and thus inhibit imagination and thus creativity?


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    As an only child I have gotten alot of solitary time throughout my life, and I find that is what seperates me from the average person. In my own right I feel I have developed great intrapersonal skills, and a good imagination because of being alone alot of time. This is something I still crave alot of times is to just be alone and read, or play games alot of which take place on a digital format i.e. text-based computing system, video game system. So therefore I do believe solitude can still be achieved if one makes time for it of course, and I believe some people like solitude and others dont. Whether genetically that changes or not in the future I doubt very seriously. I believe the digital age will have people using their minds more and bodies less, thus relying more on cognitive thought, and creative thinking if for nothing else, than to gain resources, food clothes shelter money, luxuries, as this world becomes more and more populated resources become less and less.


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    The hand held electronic gadgets and the Internet have created the means for constant interaction between one another thereby diminishing any time for adult contact or interaction with the world via newspapers and books.

    “Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, compiled his frustration at young Netizens in his recent book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.”

    “Bauerlein, 49, says younger generations don’t spend enough time learning about the world at large, writing: “They are latter-day Rip Van Winkles, sleeping through the movements of culture and events of history, preferring the company of peers to great books and powerful ideas and momentous happenings.”

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/257487
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    The hand held electronic gadgets and the Internet have created the means for constant interaction between one another thereby diminishing any time for adult contact or interaction with the world via newspapers and books.

    “Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, compiled his frustration at young Netizens in his recent book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.”

    “Bauerlein, 49, says younger generations don’t spend enough time learning about the world at large, writing: “They are latter-day Rip Van Winkles, sleeping through the movements of culture and events of history, preferring the company of peers to great books and powerful ideas and momentous happenings.”

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/257487
    I don't see how technology is going to be an issue so long as it isn't imposed on us against our will. If anything, it will (and probably already has) change our creativity. But lose creativity entirely? That's quite a large jump in logic, I think.
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    Have you seen The Lord of the Rings or any of the Harry Potters? What about The Matrix? I don't think the digital age suppresses creativity. What you're talking about is socialisation. Yes, it does reduce socialisation in a traditional sense, but not entirely. Which is why I can now talk to people around the globe I will probably never meet. Like you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    The hand held electronic gadgets and the Internet have created the means for constant interaction between one another thereby diminishing any time for adult contact or interaction with the world via newspapers and books.

    “Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, compiled his frustration at young Netizens in his recent book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.”

    “Bauerlein, 49, says younger generations don’t spend enough time learning about the world at large, writing: “They are latter-day Rip Van Winkles, sleeping through the movements of culture and events of history, preferring the company of peers to great books and powerful ideas and momentous happenings.”

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/257487
    I have a whole bunch of different ideas about these quotes. One question that comes to mind is what makes an event or idea momentous, and powerful and what does not ? Can company of peers not disclose powerful ideas and momentous happenings ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    The hand held electronic gadgets and the Internet have created the means for constant interaction between one another thereby diminishing any time for adult contact or interaction with the world via newspapers and books.

    “Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, compiled his frustration at young Netizens in his recent book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.”

    “Bauerlein, 49, says younger generations don’t spend enough time learning about the world at large, writing: “They are latter-day Rip Van Winkles, sleeping through the movements of culture and events of history, preferring the company of peers to great books and powerful ideas and momentous happenings.”

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/257487
    I don't see how technology is going to be an issue so long as it isn't imposed on us against our will. If anything, it will (and probably already has) change our creativity. But lose creativity entirely? That's quite a large jump in logic, I think.
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    I discovered an inspiring book in my elementary school library: Stop Motion Animation, for Children. What nerdy kid could resist that? My imagination blossomed and I dreamed up bizarre stunts and scenes, not always featuring toy spaceships from Star Wars. But the thing was, it required a movie camera. And film. Probably a darkroom. A projector if you want to see your creation. Basically everything Lucas had at his disposal. "Mom, can you buy me a... blue-screen and film splicing machine?" Creativity hit another wall. I returned the book and forgot about it, until last week.

    A few weeks ago my son was watching YouTube rubbish. Videos of Lego-men accompanied by annoying nine-year-old voice acting. The Lego men marched around, a plot sputtered, stupidity reigned. Stop motion animation. Thousands of these things are uploaded onto YouTube, by children mostly. Apparently all that's required is an ordinary $30 webcam and some stop-motion freeware, so the animator can focus on creativity not repetitious labour. It's too easy.

    We don't have to tell kids to be creative. The boy is nagging me to install that free program. He wants to begin filming NOW. I'm thinking maybe I should read up on the topic a little more... see if that old book I remember is available at our local library. Yes I think I'll take my son to the library next time he brings that up.

    :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I discovered an inspiring book in my elementary school library: Stop Motion Animation, for Children. What nerdy kid could resist that? My imagination blossomed and I dreamed up bizarre stunts and scenes, not always featuring toy spaceships from Star Wars. But the thing was, it required a movie camera. And film. Probably a darkroom. A projector if you want to see your creation. Basically everything Lucas had at his disposal. "Mom, can you buy me a... blue-screen and film splicing machine?" Creativity hit another wall. I returned the book and forgot about it, until last week.

    A few weeks ago my son was watching YouTube rubbish. Videos of Lego-men accompanied by annoying nine-year-old voice acting. The Lego men marched around, a plot sputtered, stupidity reigned. Stop motion animation. Thousands of these things are uploaded onto YouTube, by children mostly. Apparently all that's required is an ordinary $30 webcam and some stop-motion freeware, so the animator can focus on creativity not repetitious labour. It's too easy.

    We don't have to tell kids to be creative. The boy is nagging me to install that free program. He wants to begin filming NOW. I'm thinking maybe I should read up on the topic a little more... see if that old book I remember is available at our local library. Yes I think I'll take my son to the library next time he brings that up.

    :wink:
    Yes, you do that, Pong. And slap your son with a rolled-up newspaper if he doesn't understand the secrets embodied in your denied childhood book. Yes, you coulda been somebody, maybe a contender, and maybe you still can by uh, proxy.
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    I think the digital age might as well work both ways. Rap and pop music together with MTV and other trash helps in dumbing down current generations. It's not the musicians who create the music anymore, it's the producers. At the same time science and more sophisticated shows on TV is more available which counterbalances the "dumbing down effect" from all the trash out there.

    Whether or not there will be more "dumbing down" than "healthy learning" is hard to say. I find myself to be quite the cynic here. I think we're going down. :P

    Anyone seen this "Lady Gaga"? It's exactly what is predicted in the musical "We Will Rock You". Kinda sad really...

    Still, there's hope that people will seek knowledge on science and philosophy, but for now it isn't looking good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    I think the digital age might as well work both ways. Rap and pop music together with MTV and other trash helps in dumbing down current generations. It's not the musicians who create the music anymore, it's the producers. At the same time science and more sophisticated shows on TV is more available which counterbalances the "dumbing down effect" from all the trash out there.

    Whether or not there will be more "dumbing down" than "healthy learning" is hard to say. I find myself to be quite the cynic here. I think we're going down. :P

    Anyone seen this "Lady Gaga"? It's exactly what is predicted in the musical "We Will Rock You". Kinda sad really...

    Still, there's hope that people will seek knowledge on science and philosophy, but for now it isn't looking good.
    "I distrust those people who know so well what is "healthy learning" and what is a "dumbing down" of Culture because I notice that it always coincides with the presumption that they know best." - anonymous

    :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    "I distrust those people who know so well what is "healthy learning" and what is a "dumbing down" of Culture because I notice that it always coincides with the presumption that they know best." - anonymous

    :-D
    Well, I guess gangs isn't that big of a problem after all then... :wink:

    Not to mention drunk driving, stupidity/ignorance leading to death, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    "I distrust those people who know so well what is "healthy learning" and what is a "dumbing down" of Culture because I notice that it always coincides with the presumption that they know best." - anonymous

    :-D
    Well, I guess gangs isn't that big of a problem after all then... :wink:

    Not to mention drunk driving, stupidity/ignorance leading to death, etc.
    I hate gangs but once I was in one. We called it a club. Our club gave us status in the neighborhood. It was all very tribal, in fact, we called our gang the Celts. Our rival gangs were the Vikings and the Huns. We never robbed anybody we just fought and stood around looking cool wearing jackets with our gang name on the back. We weren't that big of a problem after all.

    But then, after a self-righteous social disruption, we changed our name to the Rumblers and all hell broke loose.

    Sometimes you have to rumble when the Huns are at the door.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I discovered an inspiring book in my elementary school library: Stop Motion Animation, for Children. What nerdy kid could resist that? My imagination blossomed and I dreamed up bizarre stunts and scenes, not always featuring toy spaceships from Star Wars. But the thing was, it required a movie camera. And film. Probably a darkroom. A projector if you want to see your creation. Basically everything Lucas had at his disposal. "Mom, can you buy me a... blue-screen and film splicing machine?" Creativity hit another wall. I returned the book and forgot about it, until last week.

    A few weeks ago my son was watching YouTube rubbish. Videos of Lego-men accompanied by annoying nine-year-old voice acting. The Lego men marched around, a plot sputtered, stupidity reigned. Stop motion animation. Thousands of these things are uploaded onto YouTube, by children mostly. Apparently all that's required is an ordinary $30 webcam and some stop-motion freeware, so the animator can focus on creativity not repetitious labour. It's too easy.

    We don't have to tell kids to be creative. The boy is nagging me to install that free program. He wants to begin filming NOW. I'm thinking maybe I should read up on the topic a little more... see if that old book I remember is available at our local library. Yes I think I'll take my son to the library next time he brings that up.

    :wink:
    Yes, you do that, Pong. And slap your son with a rolled-up newspaper if he doesn't understand the secrets embodied in your denied childhood book. Yes, you coulda been somebody, maybe a contender, and maybe you still can by uh, proxy.
    Okay maybe incremental irony and self-deprecation is lost to the digital generations.


    Do you often seek solitude?
    Personally yes, I'm an introvert by nature. I'm an only child and half my childhood was rural. Can't see how that matters to the discussion, but you asked so there's my answer.

    People feel crowding pressure from cosmopolitan vs. rural lifestyle, and cultural/economic conditions like number of occupants per unit of dwelling area. Then they seek solitude. For example in Japan you will see a row of people standing at the convenience store magazine rack, each standing there reading for half an hour just to postpone going home. It's not really about the media. The magazine rack is a vehicle of solitude.

    In our Digital Age is solitude possible for young people?
    I believe it is, more than ever...

    Will the Digital Age destroy solitude and thus inhibit imagination and thus creativity?
    I believe radio, television, and other entertainment media of the last century important to this discussion. The fact is, people absorbed in these were in a kind of solitude. Solitude without imagination. It was all passive experience. You can't do anything creative with the music playing through the radio. I remember walking along residential streets at night, every house front window glowing with the blue light, most of them pulsing and flickering in sync. They were watching the same shows, alone. What they'd think about that before bed was more or less the same. They may have dreamed the same dreams.

    Now what you Coberst I think mean by "digital" in "digital age" is the media and gadgets people interact with and communicate through. A lot of it is tools and toys. You input something and it outputs something else. You click all the green balloons and a bonus letter appears. This is what Marshall McLuhan would have called "cold (demanding) media" as opposed to our last century's "hot (non-interactive) media". People tune out with either, maybe seeking solitude. But with the recent popularity of cold media they are often tuning in their own imaginations as much as they are tuning out worldly distractions. People create too, but so much of that is disposable you'll never see it. For example my son spent two hours this evening essentially playing with virtual Mechano - this was pure invention and creation, though the creations are ephemeral and immaterial. If this is the digital age then no it doesn't destroy creativity - it facilitates creativity.

    The social mediums are another fork. Facebook and text messaging and such. Is this what you meant?
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    "I distrust those people who know so well what is "healthy learning" and what is a "dumbing down" of Culture because I notice that it always coincides with the presumption that they know best." - anonymous

    :-D
    Well, I guess gangs isn't that big of a problem after all then... :wink:

    Not to mention drunk driving, stupidity/ignorance leading to death, etc.
    I hate gangs but once I was in one. We called it a club. Our club gave us status in the neighborhood. It was all very tribal, in fact, we called our gang the Celts. Our rival gangs were the Vikings and the Huns. We never robbed anybody we just fought and stood around looking cool wearing jackets with our gang name on the back. We weren't that big of a problem after all.

    But then, after a self-righteous social disruption, we changed our name to the Rumblers and all hell broke loose.

    Sometimes you have to rumble when the Huns are at the door.
    I work with a guy, he is from El Salvador. And he was a member of the MS13 gang.

    One day I was talking with him. And he said "yea where I am from my whole country is gays, it is very bad".

    I said "Na come-on your whole country can't be gays".

    He said "yea my whole country is gay's".

    I said "No way".

    He said "yea I was in gays too"

    I said "no".

    He said "yea"

    I said "how could you have kids"

    He just looked at me puzzled.

    I said "your whole country cannot be gay"

    He was getting a little angry and said "yea my whole country gay's!

    I look over and this other guy from Equador who was listening to us, actually has tears coming down his face. He is laughing so hard. The way the fellow was pronouncing "gangs" sounded like gays. We all laughed for hours. Every time someone remembers the conversation we all laugh.

    This same guy from El Salvador one day is listening to this other guy that was temporarily at our shop, because another shop was slow and they had no work for him. He was a kick boxer, and would go to the coliseum to fight. I believe he was paid for the fights. He was going on how he could kick anyone's ass. This happened everyday at lunch. One day the guy from El Salvador did not like the way he was bullying some of the guys. So he said lets go.

    The guy from El Salvador hit him with so many shots in under a second, that the other guy could not pick his feet up off the ground. That is just what the guy from El Salvador had told him.
    Never had another conversation about fighting at lunch. Beautiful.

    I had told the other guy that three decent shots to the head, very quickly following each other can put anyone down. It is not the strength of the guy. But the physics of the brain being moved with each shot closer to the skull. They used to call it the old 123. That is why you practice on a speed bag.


    We had fraternities in our area growing up. To get initiated they would paddle you. And then you would go out and have chain fights with other gangs.

    I was hanging out with the gang, and they said why don't you try out. I said "try out"! My father hit me with a special stick with holes in at 3:00 o'clock everyday whether I was good or bad. And you think I want more? Your nuts.

    I had a custom made leather biker jacket. You probably could not put a knife through it. Unless it was a chrome hunting knife polished well. I actually told my girl friends trained attack dog, to attack me in that jacket. It could not bite through the leather.

    Times have changed though. Now there is no more of that in my area. Probably a good thing. But I am concerned because the young kids today do not get to do much hands on anymore. Even destroying metal things in the community gives kids the knowledge of metals strengths and weaknesses.

    Glad you made it out of the gangs alive. Kids would die every now and then in gang fights around here. Sometimes get run over, at a rumble stuff like that.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  17. #16 Will creativity die out? 
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    Creativity, is the Essence of the Universe, but then so is destructivness.
    The two have been battling since the moment of creation. One can't exist
    without the other.
    Technology won't smother creativity, it will only advance it to other forms, if used responibly and as a medium for education and communication, exploration.
    Mankind would die out if we did not embrace technological advances.
    And technology like the electronic libriary for instance will save a lot of forest's from being destroyed. on the other hand creativity can also be very destructive,
    but if we use it responsibly we have nothing to fear...I hope.
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  18. #17 Re: Will creativity die out? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by quantumintel
    Creativity, is the Essence of the Universe, but then so is destructivness.
    The two have been battling since the moment of creation. One can't exist
    without the other.
    Technology won't smother creativity, it will only advance it to other forms, if used responibly and as a medium for education and communication, exploration.
    Mankind would die out if we did not embrace technological advances.
    And technology like the electronic libriary for instance will save a lot of forest's from being destroyed. on the other hand creativity can also be very destructive,
    but if we use it responsibly we have nothing to fear...I hope.
    I think you have just written our worlds epitaph. Ha-ha. Technology has not advanced since the end of the 1800's. Ninety Eight percent or more of America, did not know what we possessed before the Civil War. Sending men to die against the South or the North, was just political posturing. A calm game of chess. Nothing good about it.

    Everything we have, was envisioned a long time ago. Micronizing was started so long ago, that it is beyond an antique. It is ancient. It is boring. It is actually stupid and often dangerous.

    Men that worked in advanced space centers, found hieroglyphics on the moon. And basically the warning to our civilization was do not complicate or turn the basics into a complication that the average man cannot use to any useful purpose. I believe the message came to late.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  19. #18 Re: Will creativity die out? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    Quote Originally Posted by quantumintel
    Creativity, is the Essence of the Universe, but then so is destructivness.
    The two have been battling since the moment of creation. One can't exist
    without the other.
    Technology won't smother creativity, it will only advance it to other forms, if used responibly and as a medium for education and communication, exploration.
    Mankind would die out if we did not embrace technological advances.
    And technology like the electronic libriary for instance will save a lot of forest's from being destroyed. on the other hand creativity can also be very destructive,
    but if we use it responsibly we have nothing to fear...I hope.
    I think you have just written our worlds epitaph. Ha-ha. Technology has not advanced since the end of the 1800's. Ninety Eight percent or more of America, did not know what we possessed before the Civil War. Sending men to die against the South or the North, was just political posturing. A calm game of chess. Nothing good about it.

    Everything we have, was envisioned a long time ago. Micronizing was started so long ago, that it is beyond an antique. It is ancient. It is boring. It is actually stupid and often dangerous.

    Men that worked in advanced space centers, found hieroglyphics on the moon. And basically the warning to our civilization was do not complicate or turn the basics into a complication that the average man cannot use to any useful purpose. I believe the message came to late.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
    Whoever wrote these so called hieroglyphics on the moon had his/her/their own opinion/s on complicating the "basics" but I believe to understand basic functions in our own perception/s we must sometimes look at them under a microscope.
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    There is no such thing like creativity and it never has been proven. I guess you didn’t read the big book of Karl Marx. There is only a communal drive akin to ant-hill structure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sevenoaks
    There is no such thing like creativity and it never has been proven. I guess you didn’t read the big book of Karl Marx. There is only a communal drive akin to ant-hill structure.
    I have some sympathy with this point of view, albeit not through the gospels of St Karl.

    Care to expand, or provide some critical thinking behind your position?
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    Creativity is associated with imagination. You need something to fuel your Imagination, unless one can prove that imagination can be effected by neurons being able to create a mental picture in the brain without the need to interact with the outside world. I think creativity can not be proven, even if it existed. If you think of rearranged imitation as creativity then ok but then some animals are capable of it also as they can learn by analogy, some of them can, as, for example, dolphins.
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  23. #22  
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    Perhaps it's the totality of all your unique interactions that your unique brain synthesizes into original ideas, which you (whatever "you" is) really have no say about. Creativity may be like free will in that it probably doesn't exist, but we live as if it exists (we have no choice but to do so, which is a bit ironic).

    To the original point, I do feel the digital media have made it so much easier to produce art and music (not that I can do it) than in the good old days that the quality suffers, and the consumers don't even know what they are missing. We are swimming in an ocean of available "tunes" and digital art. Some of it, it seems to me, is simply manufactured according to the dictates of marketing people. When did this begin? I'll go out on a limb and suggest it began with The Monkees! This was pre-digital but set the model for manufactured art which the digital revolution picked up with gusto.

    So, I'm an old fart. So shoot me.
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  24. #23  
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    One might study this matter by reading "Moral Imagination" by Mark Johnson
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