WISE: The Web-based Inquiry Science Environment

Revision as of 09:22, 26 February 2009 by Jianwei Zhang (talk | contribs)

Vincent's First Post

Hey folks, Is KF down again? I couldn't get on yesterday, Tues or today, Wednesday. I'll put my thoughts here so we can keep the 'creative' feedback flowing.

First off, I thought this was a great article. His ideas (he is a he, isn't he?)about creativity functioning as a system makes so much sense. Especially when he compares it to evolution. The creative act or product has to possess the element of "fitness." The variation needs to match it's environment in order for it to survive. This process of "natural selection" works both ways: it can be positive or negative. Good ideas/traits thrive and are passes along; bad ones die off. What he writes on page 315 supports this idea: "Creativity occurs when a person makes a change in a domain, a change that will be transmitted through time."

In continuing with the biological metaphor, the notion of memes as being the 'genes' of culture, allows one to see how a culture can assimilate a new feature (a creative product) in the same manner as a species can assimilate a new trait. The comparison is extended by consideration of the idea that just as different species have different genes/traits, different cultures have different memes or practices/norms.

I feel compelled to make mention of Figure 16.3, the systems view of creativity. The triangle structure resembles the idea of Hawkin's "I-Thou-It" triad. Depending on the perspective or position one is referring to or is taking in the triad, you could be either the I or the Thou. But, Hawkin's I-thou-it can readily be superimposed on the creativity system with the "I" obviously being the Personal Background, the "Thou" taking the position of society, leaving the culture and the "It" to be paired up.

The "take-away" message from this reading is that the hypothesis of creativity existing as a system deserves a lot of attention. I, for one, am willing to whole-heartedly accept it as the correct theory. The systems model includes the three criteria for creativity: fluency, divergent thinking and uniqueness. On page 314, Csikszentmihalyi writes that "If creativity is to retain a useful meaning, it but refer to a process that results in a idea or product that is recognized and adopted by others." This relates to another property of creativity, its significance and acceptance by society.