Has the Business of Creativity Made Us Less Creative?

In the ancient world, creativity belonged to the divine realm: when a human exhibited creative genius, he or she was seen as favored by the Gods.

Creativity, like many cultural values, has changed through the ages. In the ancient world, creativity belonged to the divine realm: when a human exhibited creative genius, he or she was seen as favored by the Gods. During the Enlightenment, when scientific methods of inquiry were developed, the soft subjectivity of imagination was considered inferior. Not until the Romantic era of the late 18th century did creativity become a prize. Today, it is more of a paycheck. 

Businesses seek "creatives" to keep them at the forefront of innovation. And creativity gurus have developed a cottage industry of self-help books and weekend seminars about unlocking your inner genius. But the commodification of creativity tends to mystify what generally counts as ingenuity and intelligence, and it can delegitimize the act of simply living a creative life, outside of realms that make objects and sell them for money.

Yet if there is something apart about creativity, we should hold it apart. If you are truly creative, you don't necessarily need to make things. Living observing, thinking, and feeling should be enough. Are we living in a wasteland of creativity? Seminal designer George Lois thinks so:

Read more at the New Yorker

Photo credit: Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
  • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
  • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less