Systems Model of Creativity
Herbert Simone: given the correct information(problem), a computer can solve a problem (such as the elliptical paths of the planets) in a tiny fraction of the time it takes a human. That is, if creative discovery is just fast problem-solving then computers are also capable of creativity. You run into presented problems vs discovered problems.
creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
systems model of creativity
musicians improvising vs executing highights DLPFC region of the brain, poker but not chess, having to make decisions with insufficient knowledge, discovering problems
art that discovers a problem through its process rather than executing a pre-conceived plan, is universally rated as more valuable/original
Where is creativity?
creativity is, unfortunately not a process that can be identified or possessed. Rather, it is a word used to describe the event in which an agent for change makes innovations within a field, located between the individual, the field, and the cultural domain.
This is Csiksezentimihalyi’s counter to Herbert Simon’s computer program capable of replicating creative scientific problems. Simon claims that if it was creative for Newton to draw up a formula, the exact same formula from a computer is also creative. Csiksezentimihalyi claims that this is not the case because creativity is defined by its context. Thus, van Gogh is more “creative” than a van Gogh forger. In this way, according to Csiksezentimihalyi, the object itself is no judge. In the contemporary, Giotto is boring and of questionable worth. In context, that is, after we are instructed of its art historical or religious or aesthetic value, then its creative value changes. “In the contemporary” requires a context of its own that lies totally outside of the work itself. The field and the domain are necessary for creativity to exist. It— we could say like art— is invented. Social construct.
Consider Mendel’s contributions to genetics. They were not appreciated, not even by Mendel himself, until 40 years after his initial experiments at which time the theory of natural selection and variation had a need for them. Where is creativity? In the experiments, in Mendel, or in the framework that needed them? It is inseparable from any, as long as they are together.
It is important too to recognize that we don’t want just new ideas— we want new good ideas. And it is the realm of the realm to determine goodness.
Enter, the gatekeeper. The popes made art history. A handful of gallerists made art history. Greenberg made art history. Saatchi/Gagosian are making art history. The establishment is the domain. The establishment creates taste. The establishment rules on what goodness is. Leonardo traveled in accordance to which patron had the more money.
Sometimes, in the event of a radically new field, the domain widens a bit.
creativity (as a construction) emerges over time.
the system, the construction, the architecture of related ideas forming a canon is domain.
It is cultural heritage and in evolutionary terms, the convenient packaging of extra-biological ideas worth passing on, called memes.
Florentine artists weren’t exceptional, Florence was. Nor was this accidental. It was a conscious, calculated policy decision on the part of the oligarchy in en effort to build a new Athens. It supported its arts financially, educationally, culturally, and this paid off. It set a task and the artists fulfilled.
Questions: What are the ways in which information is stored and how does the structuring of the information affect creativity?
innovation, creatvity, problem finding, originality
formulating something in a strikingly better way
following domain of the domain
creativity is a subjective judgement. It is not an objective quality. Judges will assess it differently according to their past experience and even their personal idosyncricities, even when judged to be experts on creativity themselves. The creativity is a product of a social sphere.
So the personal creativity (a second individual individually “discovering” Einstein) must be paired with the Persuasion to be recognized. “In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whme the idea first occurs.” If you define creaativity as making innovations within a field that are then incorporated into the domain, that is, within the systems model, persuasion is an intregal part. So close in fact that Csikszentmihalyi says they are inseparable as far as the empirical is concerned, for if you can’t persuade then who is to say that you have at all? If we are to pin it down this seems the simplest way. To call it creative is to call it a worthy change to fit into the domain. Creative is here maybe better called genius. It must affect change.
This model appears problematic to me in that it is circular. It MUST exist in the way that it does and it identifies creativity as only that which works. “Of course, one might disagree with this definition of creativity.”
Without rules there cannot be exceptions and without tradition there can be no novelty.
creativity in 4 stages
1 preceding hard work and research, preparation
2 idle time alone, incubation
3 moment of insight, illumination
4 hard work and elaboration to bring to fruition, verification
“anything that is attractive has to have an aspect of obviousness”
“If you cannot persuade the world that you had a creative idea, how do we know that you actually had it? And if you do persuade others, then of course you will be recognized as creative.” So freakin problematic. Downplays inherent motivation/reward as somehow necessarily secondary to external. It’s not even the fruits, it’s the gregariousness of the thing that determines creativity. And if that’s not what creativity is then well hell, let’s just move the goalposts. He assumes that it’s the only useful or measurable creativity. I don’t accept that.
Likens it to evolution. Variation that is tested then if successful integrated by being passed on.
imminent individuals are flexible and curious
they are introverted exactly when they need to be
they are extroverted exactly when they need to be
their behavior is determined not by rigidity but by the demands of the domain/moment/value
if a structure is not capable of recognizing let alone accepting change then change can’t exist. Thus, the more expedient action is to alter not the input but the receptivity. Agents will follow. So we practice mindfulness and ask more questions.
ah, Csikszentmihalyi’s model is static
by having a defined field and domain it is so heavy-handed. Will make its point at the cost of nuance. It is a bit determinist, which is fine. It seems that the entire purpose and utility is to direct conversation away from the idea of the promethean genius. That is obv progressive, but a bit… I don’t think it’s the best response.
Strongly prefer nietzsche’s 500 hands. It’s more artful, appropriate, and so much less stupid. Nietzsche makes each a servant of the other in paradox, which is what it seems that Csikszentmihalyi means to suggest but tramples on.