Sep 20, 2011
He suggests that you can’t generate creativity, that creativity is something that people just innately have or don’t have.
“There’s no way to stop creativity unless you kill the people who have it. Creators will change jobs, defy the government, move to other countries, and do whatever they need to let the creativity out.”
This blog started during a particularly low part during my career, when our company was floundering badly, and I wasn’t being listened to or respected. In fact, I was being downright abused, and sometimes wish instead of continuing with blogging, I would have just gone to look for another job, back before the financial crisis. But I don’t deny that a particular appeal to the medium was as a creative outlet. I think this point is particularly salient:
I’ve noticed that creativity so often springs from hardship or pain that I wonder if it’s a precondition. That would make sense from an evolution perspective. Humans don’t need to come up with new ideas when everything is running smoothly. We need creativity when we’re threatened and all of the usual defenses are deemed inadequate. In other words, the best way to generate creativity is to induce hardship on humans, which would be unethical. Conversely, the best way to reduce creativity is to – wait for it – make things nice and comfortable for creative people. In other words, any ethical attempt to encourage creativity will have the unintended effect of killing it. Happy creators are not productive.
I think he’s onto something here. When I think back, I’ve come up with some of my best ideas during times of extreme hardship. Interestingly, unemployment seems to stoke my game development itch. The last time I didn’t have a job or a prospect I wrote a pretty large chunk of an online text adventure game (which were still popular back then). Once I got a job, and felt “safe” it just kind of died. This bout of joblessness, I have all kinds of crazy game ideas popping into my head. My best work at my previous employer was when new leadership who listened to us took over, and it we all went from apathy into “save the company” mode. Things were very crazy and uncertain, and I was constantly worried about my job, but I did some of my best work for that company in those couple of years.
At least from my experience, Scott Adams was right. Adversity definitely seems to be what gets me thinking.
Aug 15, 2011
That’s a whole lot of crazy right there. You could bottle that as crazy concentrate right now. No need for a vacuum evaporator, or any special processing. Blog long enough, eventually you’ll think you’ve heard it all, and then someone will come along and prove you wrong.
Jul 25, 2011
Go have a look at this image, and then take off your glasses. This has been making it’s way around, and I thought it was pretty neat. I’m not actually near sighted enough without glasses that I see the alternate image, so I had to blur my eyes a bit.
Jul 22, 2011
… everybody knows that beer ain’t drinkin’.
This was apparently official policy in Russia until just now.
Jul 8, 2011
We watched The Parking Lot Movie the other day on Netflix. Now, I love my Netflix for these oddball documentaries. (That and bad sci-fi, but that’s not relevant to this post.)
But something has nagged at the back of my mind for a while. One of the employees admitted that he would arbitrarily charge different prices to different customers regardless of how long they parked because of judgements he would make on their personal status in life.
I realize that as a parking lot owner, you’re probably not that concerned about lawsuits, but having an employee admit it, and then say that he gave the company all of the extra profits from these duped customers, that just screams bad news all around. There’s just something about that admission that doesn’t sit well with me, even though I don’t think I’d fall into the categories of people the guy would charge double the actual fees.
I do recognize that there are plenty of circumstances where people pay different prices for the same goods or service even from the same company – airline tickets or anything from Amazon are the first things that come to mind. But when there’s a posted uniform rate agreed upon at the time you park and then an employee makes a snap decision that isn’t based on time, service, or demand, but on personal traits he doesn’t like in customers, that doesn’t really seem kosher. Is it lawsuit worthy? At the very least, it seems like it wouldn’t be worth the hassle to park there since you never know when the parking lot attendent will have his panties in a twist over something you may have done that offends him – like breathe.
Another thing that stands out is that they described the hiring process which is essentially, “I know a guy.” Okay, that’s fine. Except there were no female employees at all. God forbid if a woman ever applied for a job there and was turned away. I guess what bothers me is that the parking lot featured (in Charlottesville, Virginia, btw) really put itself out there to advertise shady business practices and a hiring process that may not be on the up-and-up. This doesn’t seem like something most small business owners would actually want to do.
Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps the parking lot in the movie has had even more business than ever. I admit to being thoroughly entertained by the documentary, I’m just not sure that I actually trust anyone associated with the business not to rip me off even if I play by all of the agreed-upon rules.
Jul 7, 2011
I have never heard of this weed until now, but apparently it is taking over New York:
This noxious weed has spread across the state, threatening humans with sap that causes severe burns, blistering, permanent scarring and even blindness.
No, it’s not Mayor Bloomberg, but Giant Hogweed. The Wikipedia description matches the article. I think we need to close the Giant Hogweed loophole and make sure that people on the terror watch list cannot buy this plant.
May 31, 2011
I really have to wonder what goes through a person’s head when they decide to take it all off and showcase their goods to the neighborhood while sunbathing on their roof. I really, really want to know what goes through their head when that person is a 71-year-old man.
Mar 20, 2011
From a news report on a Pittsburgh apartment fire:
Once the fire fight was over, crews said they found a partially-damaged AK-47 assault rifle, which will be checked for proper ownership.
Officers said they will check to see if the alligator, which was unharmed by the fire, needs an exotic pet permit or if it already has one.
Well, okay then. Pretty sure ATF isn’t going to be able to trace the alligator though.