creativity and tradition: a notion
If we're willing to explore all avenues of innovation, we cannot ignore the traditional constructs, as this excerpt from "What Bach could have taught Spinoza about Judaism" points out:
It was within the "confinement of the law" that Bach burst out with unprecedented creativity. This proves, against all expectations, that the "finiteness" of the law leads to infinite riches. What Bach proved as nobody else was that it is not in novelty that one reaches the deepest of all human creative experiences, but in the capacity to descend to the depths of what is already given. Bach's works were entirely free of any innovation, but utterly new in originality.
This type of conventional creativity we do not find in Beethoven. Beethoven (in his later years) broke with all the accepted rules of composition. He was one of the founders of a whole new world of musical options. But it was his rejection of the conventional musical laws that made him less of a musical genius. To work within constraints and then to be utterly novel is the ultimate sign of unprecedented greatness. This is what Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) the great German poet and philosopher meant when he said:
In der Beschraenkung zeigt sich erst der Meister, Und das Gesetz nur kann uns Freiheit geben. (Sonnet: "Was wir bringen")
(In limitation does the master really prove himself. And it is (only) the law that can provide us with freedom)
Would you agree?
EJ in Richmond
thomas edison in a box
"His first patent was for a Device for the Autonomous Generation of Useful Information," the official name of the Creativity Machine, Miller said. "His second patent was for the Self-Training Neural Network Object. Patent Number Two was invented by Patent Number One. Think about that. Patent Number Two was invented by Patent Number One!"
An excerpt from an absolutely fascinating article about the Creativity Machine, invented by Stephen Thaler, founder of Imagination Engines. It's at heart a computer network that thinks creatively--Thaler set up programs that mimic the pathways of the human brain and then jolt them and the system spits out creative ideas, just as the human brain does when its neurons are washed by "noise." It's a functioning model of the human creative capacity.
Creative Machines are responsible for the invention of the Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush. One composed 11,000 songs--"some are good"--over the course of a weekend. They indulge in writing supermarket tabloids. They can improve Internet security and be better interplanetary rovers.
There is, of course, a downside: will such networks supplant human workers? Are we setting ourselves up for a Terminator-like uprising of the machines?
It seems doubtful to me. In the meantime, though, just the fact that such a thing can be invented and function successfully intrigues me.
If you're interested in the original patent for the Creativity Engine, click here. Others are available at the Imagination Engines, Inc. site above.
EJ in Richmond
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