Isaac Asimov on Creativity

jf15-viewsasimov1Isaac Asimov has always been one of my favourite authors. When I was a kid I would sit at the back of class and plough through his books in preference to history, biology or whatever other boring nonsense was being shared.

One thing I have always enjoyed about Asimov was that he had a real science mind, but, like my other firm favourite, Philip K Dick, he was also profoundly interested in the human condition. His novels were never just about aliens, space ships and far out tech. They were always also about how the impacted on humans and what that might look or feel like.

So, I was delighted when I came across an article online where Asimov discusses creativity. Titled, “How do People get New Ideas?” it really explores how groups of people can be best encouraged and helped to work out new exciting ideas for pretty much any purpose. But in it he touches on personal inspiration and how it is that we seem able to have anything like a new idea in the first place.

Russian-born American author Isaac Asimov is seen in 1974. (AP Photo)
Russian-born American author Isaac Asimov is seen in 1974. (AP Photo)

When you read the article, you will likely be struck by how much importance and weight Asimov gives to the notion of people who are capable of making creative and new associations being unusual and pretty much an outsider. We live in a world where homogenisation seems to be the order of the day, both as an external pressure and as an internal drive. We want to know how to make things more efficient, faster or better. Rarely, it seems, do we concern ourselves with NEW.

But aside from that, it is also very interesting how much emphasis Asimov puts and there NOT being a strong focus on a specific output for group creative sessions. Rather, a free and relaxed environment needs to be created. This aligns powerfully with the idea that, if you’re thinking too much, your brain is making too much noise for you to hear the truly subtle, new and unique connections that might be being made.

Read the article by clicking here:

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