I was reading today Harry Collins's Changing Order (1992) who has the following interesting take on the issue of creativity in a passage that, I think, captures the essence of the entire book:
"A potential scientific revolution can be read into any trivial mistake. Thus the origin of creativity in itself is not an interesting problem. The interesting thing is the origin of successful creativity and the conditions for its success. What is involved in making major changes in the conceptual web? " p. 148
Then, a few moments ago I stumbled upon this article from Thomas Friedman in the NY Times who writes the following:
"Feeling the pulsating energy of this performance was such a vivid reminder of America’s most important competitive advantage: the sheer creative energy that comes when you mix all our diverse people and cultures together. We live in an age when the most valuable asset any economy can have is the ability to be creative — to spark and imagine new ideas, be they Broadway tunes, great books, iPads or new cancer drugs. And where does creativity come from?
I like the way Newsweek described it in a recent essay on creativity: “To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).”
And where does divergent thinking come from? It comes from being exposed to divergent ideas and cultures and people and intellectual disciplines. As Marc Tucker, the president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, once put it to me: “One thing we know about creativity is that it typically occurs when people who have mastered two or more quite different fields use the framework in one to think afresh about the other. Intuitively, you know this is true. Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist, scientist and inventor, and each specialty nourished the other. He was a great lateral thinker. But if you spend your whole life in one silo, you will never have either the knowledge or mental agility to do the synthesis, connect the dots, which is usually where the next great breakthrough is found.”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/04/opinion/04friedman.html?hp
A very interesting superposition