If NASA can sling a golf-cart sized probe to Mars in-between the paths of multiple careening planets, I should be able to slingshot myself into the ideal timed path to my destination.Read More
This site sits on the crossroads of Languages, Linguistics, Social Media Market Engagement, Marketing Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Creativity Theory, Ancient Mythology & Egyptology. Its a very small crossroads in the middle of cyberspace - so stay for a while - pull up a chair and coffee.
So I was watching Top Chef...
Clichés can be horrible things, they can really fix perceptions and force people to overlook the obvious.
I was watching Top Chef, because I like to cook and competition is fun when it involves knives. In this episode one competitor was given access to ingredients early and could choose anything he wanted. To his competitor's frustration, any ingredients he chose were then strictly off limits. The challenge was surf and turf and this chef chose lobster and Filet Mignon - truly earth shattering.
Then it hit me...
The chefs that were given limitations, however minimal, had much deeper conviction in their choice of proteins. The first chef went pacing up and down the large industrial size refrigerator and could not make up his mind on what to choose.
He even commented that "the ingredients were not speaking to him" and that he basically could not find inspiration. Creativity was not coming to him. Instead it hit his competitors like bolts of lightening. Frogs and Muscles. Belly of Pork and Scallops. Suckling Pig and Shrimp. Pork and Eel.
Put creativity in a box...
Let's be honest boxes can be cute. Creativity is all about working within them. Creativity has nothing to do with leaving the box, that would be cheating. Innovation is about answering the questions - what can I do with the tools I'm given? How can I use these resources more effectively?
Raw material is limited, solutions are unlimited. Don't work outside the box, just rearrange the inside by giving yourself limitations to guide inspiration.
Provide yourself artificial limitations...
I would argue that companies, for example, that have smaller marketing budgets have to be more creative and can dream up much more inventive ways to achieve results with less. This means you have to give yourself reasonable limitations to really come up with creative results. Once you make decisions on how you will be limiting yourself, you have effectively limited down the infinite possibilities and allowed yourself to simplify and focus on only those that apply. You can develop a strategically innovative mind by knowing when to limit yourself, hold yourself back in ways that frustrates you. Frustration and need is the mother of all inventions, they do say.
Here is a great TED talk the incapsulates everything very perfectly. Making art within limitation, makes for new never-before-seen results. Embrace the limitations!
From my own experience with art installations I find that they are some of the most powerful displays of artistic talent and can evoke strong emotions within people. This is perhaps because of their grandeur or the fact that they can sometimes engage multiple senses at once. I have been planning my own version of a linguistic art installation for a long time, which would draw from several linguistic theories. Although I cannot be employed as an art installationist (wait, is that possible?!?), I feel that such expressions of thought are the best ways to really wake people up or make them suddenly aware of a revolutionary movement or idea. I would love to explain to you in my next post about my installation concepts and what I plan to create! Creation is by far the most amazing feeling! But for now, just click the link below and enjoy these amazing pieces of art. I'll explain my ideas later.
I have decided to take three MOOC's over the next four months and track my experiences and my learning objectives! I have selected a few classes to take and I'm excited to start learning about my new subjects!
For my learning (and to demonstrate this isn't just "for fun"), I have created three main objectives that will designate success
- Dedicate 5 hours a week per class.
- Be able to apply concepts outside of class.
- My own feeling of concept mastery.
I know that number three seems pretty flimsy, as it is very hard to measure. I believe however that a lot of what education gives us is simply the belief and confidence that we are educated. As a marketer I have to argue that there is a lot of added value created that does not come from a classroom or textbook. Whether you learn statistics in Harvard or a community college, it's the same topic, right?
Here are the classes that I have enrolled for:
I Know Kung Foo
The first time I watched the Matrix I distinctly remember turning to my mother and asking - "um, what just happened?" I was a tad lost. One cannot fully appreciate this film without watching it a few times. Only on my fourth viewing did I begin to suss out the dizzying layers of metaphor. Apparently, for example, every individual actor or behavior in the matrix virtual world can be related to a computer process.
This genre-defining trilogy offers us much more than in-your-face action and gravity-defying rimless glasses (but seriously, how cool would they be if they weren’t “matrix only”). This film leaves us with an enduring commentary on the relationship between humanity and technology.
While I could take this entry in possibly 10 to the 12th (10^12) different directions, I have decided to focus in on how people go about learning in the matrix.
Enter the MOOCs and Autodidacts
Have you ever heard of Coursera.org or Edx.org? They are what are known as MOOCs - massive online open classes. They offer free content in class formats in almost any subject under the sun. Example sites such as Coursera.org have set course beginning and end dates and offer certified accreditation - where your own computer will take a snap shot of you to verify YOU are taking the class and also analyze your writing patterns to make sure YOU are in fact writing the assignments.
While some people argue MOOCs are hyped, I wonder how close this model is coming to "matrix type" learning. In this system people simply pick and choose exact subjects they need to learn on an as-needed basis. While I'm not suggesting that we can plug ourselves into the jack behind our heads (not that that is ruled out), I mean to argue the education is evolving. With the invention of computer precision and intelligence, certain knowledge areas have become superfluous - while other subjects become easier to learn than ever as content is more readily available. The only part of the equation we cannot yet influence is pure experience in a subject area and the psychological power of tangible degrees.
How long until we forgo college programs altogether and simply start our professional careers earlier? In this future, we would begin our jobs and learn new required subjects as job demands arise. Instead of skills being pushed out from universities they would be pulled by the market - much more sustainable and adaptable. After all, now a days there really is nothing stopping individuals from learning anything aside from pure laziness - everything can quite literally be found on the internet.
This is the age of the Autodidacts, the person who best is able to teach him or herself will be successful. Career advisors always say it is best to never stop learning in your field. If you can't find or afford the content out there in the real world it is waiting for you online. Go find it!