Check ’Creativity, Meaning, Mechanisms, Models’. Door Lowcre, 2012. Organic creativity and the physics within. Philadelphia, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Hierna integraal het meest spannende hoofdstuk. Je moet het maar durven…
We devised a consistent holistic model of creativity that has two layers. Creativity is inherent in nature’s structures and processes on a physical level: Through the ongoing combination of combinations into previously non-existent larger units, the universe cannot be but creative. The creativity of the physical system has produced a new, organic, system: plants, animals, people, and ultimately human cognition. Due to its physical undercurrent, this organic system also is inherently creative.
The organic side of human creativity minimizes coincidence, which is the driver of creativity at the physical level. As a result, people are able to accelerate the creative processes that take place at the physical level. However, human creativity has yielded yet another layer: technology. This layer also provides opportunities to accelerate creativity, by minimizing chance and systematically exploring the information universe or ‘search space.’ Thus, creativity is not so much a choice as it is the way the universe progresses and the core of everything that the universe produces. The choice for humanity is not whether to use creativity, but how.
Now that we have concluded that creativity may be a unifying element in the physical, organic, social, and technological domain, the next question is how creativity unfolds at various levels – more probabilistically at the physical level and more deterministically at the organic. It is our expectation that understanding how creativity develops at every level will help us understand how law-like creativity is in general. When we get there, we have something very powerful in our hands.
One of the human moderators of unbound physical creativity is the demand of quality. Another is morality. The organism asks for sustenance of its structures and processes and so provides a deterministic edge to unbridled innovation, imposing rules and regulations that guarantee sufficient continuity of a chosen innovation line, including the preservation of the self. Through humans, the universe becomes more deterministic over time.
Romantic folk theory has it that creativity is something new that comes out of nothing: The creative genius would be a person who out of some sort of madness or else divine intervention conjures up the sublime (Pope, 2005, p. 76, p. 103). “… the hyper-individualistic notion of solitary genius the lone artist in his garret or the isolated scientist slaving away in his laboratory” (Pope, 2005, p. 66). If it is not so that creation is from nothing (ex nihilo) but rather from something else (ex aliis), are we merely talking about re-creation then (Pope & Swann, 2011, pp. 9-10)? Not quite. We now know that at all levels the nucleus of creativity is a compound of two or more parts, which can be fused into one new unit. The amount of ‘genius’ coincides with the size of the associative leap between component parts. This is a judgment in hindsight which is goal and viewpoint dependent. Not everybody called a genius is acknowledged as such by each individual and on the plane of physical creativity, no judgments exist. The physical universe is untouched by genius, quality, or morality unless humans impose that upon it. Creativity arises where entities that seem incompatible, but apparently were not, fuse into something entirely new. This may happen during nuclear fusion but also in cases of biological mutation as well as in humor and art.
A key factor that drives creativity is chance, coincidence, or probability. The more creativity is molded by the human organic system, the smaller the role of probability becomes but it will never be absent. Not only does the theory of evolution show combinations of determinism (i.e. selective retention) and probability (i.e. blind variation), at a very practical level also quality assurance and risk control are managerial demands meant to ban out coincidence. The main reason why creativity often is not appreciated is that it does not match the current prevailing desire for control and efficiency. Simultaneously, books that discuss ‘tipping points’ and ‘serendipity’ in business and governance (e.g., Gladwell, 2002) indicate a great need for demystification of creativity just to get a grip on it and get rid of coincidence. From our perspective on creativity, we now know that this is the same as trying to ban gravity from the earth. It would be much wiser to breed diversity and tolerance for lucky chances to strike and to develop theory (e.g., fractality) that helps to explore this great potential at an extremely fast pace.