Why Does Man Create? - Personal Reasons

Someone posted a comment to the effect that vanity serves as a personal motivator for creativity. To that I will reply: if that is a sole motivator for an individual, that person either already has an established reputation which that person is attempting to maintain to retain a popular cachet (the vanity will only cheapen the accomplishment), or that the vanity is merely blinders that an individual has that hinders his ability to actually constructively and objectively evaluate that person's ability and talent.

Personal impetus (which are somewhat reflected in some of the interviews here in the Creative Process Ideas) may be:

A personal or group recognition that someone has something significant or useful to produce.

An attempt to expose or expand upon a perceived social or cultural fallacy which a person wishes to correct, or at least make relevant to a larger group.

A personal experience that incites a person into creative action.

A wish to make other people think: about themselves, their community, their culture, or other social or political structure - in order to initiate transformation in thought and/or action.

As an actor and director, I work very hard not to do 'trivial' pieces; when people come in to see a play or a film in which I participate, I want them to leave not quite the same person that arrived. I do other pieces in order to keep in practice, but I duck whenever possible, preferring to do tech and set work instead.

Art in any form should challenge people at some level so that they not only identify with something, but also re-evaluate in a very conscious way their values, way of life, or just become conscious of something in their own life that they may not previously have been aware.

I will add something that some may object doesn't belong in the Arts & Culture hierarchy: writing software is a form of art. While most people who use software may not see a piece of accounting software or a web browser as art, the appreciative audience here is other programmers. As a program designer or developer, one should strive for an elegance that, when reviewed by other programmers (especially in the Open Source community) causes them to say, 'holy frijoles, that is cool'. That, too, is art.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less
Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less

Health care: Information tech must catch up to medical marvels

Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.

Photo: Tom Werner / Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
  • Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
  • As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
Keep reading Show less