Saturday, September 27, 2008

My computer is recognizing your creative genius…. and some…




I very recently, while metaphorically scratching my head in search of a suitably quirky discussion topic for this blog somehow examining recyceled story ideas, received a promotional email from HP - not the nice fruity and brown sauce makers in the UK but that nasty global computer hardware entity - grrr grrr (feigned anger at anything that employs more than 1000 people!) grr grrr (genuine anger for similar and other reasons)grr grr, 'mocking is catching' as my grandmother informed me, so I’ll stop.

HP didn't send me that email directly, the admin bot at animation world network sent it to me, it and I ,usually get along you see. Since we do, I began to wonder about the actual validity of HP's question in that promo email- "Is your computer recognizing your creative genius?" What superficially seemed like a totally absurd Kotler cougher, (i.e. embarrassingly inept attempt at marketing cleverness) actually contains a modicum of provocative thought. However being Irish & a creative craftsman for in excess of twenty years, I respect the old adage, “A bad workman blames his tools" so you see, claiming that I cannot realize my creativity through my lack of HP hardware innovation is counter intuitive to what I’ve learned about creativity and being creative.


Such inane advertising slogan’s pander to a sort of selective whingey prima donna type creativity, "I can only be creative on Monday’s and only if I’ve had my Skinny Latte First " Sounds pretty ridiculous to anyone who has experienced genuine creative flair, na├»ve noobs and other apprentice types might think subscribing to such a idea is good for the ego and ergo good for creativity. Substitute the above ‘HP Hardware’ for 'Skinny latte' and somehow it’s supposedlyvalid ? Sorry I don’t think so, my brother often said, ‘a good snooker player doesn’t even need a cue’ and while that sounds utterly incredulous perhaps more so than this inane computer recognition concept, there is an underlying reverse wisdom in operation, a sort of prompt of the Zen Koan variety – being; no matter what kind of tool you have, whether top of the range, latest innovation or slow and clunky, the tool will not make you creative, if you are genuinely creative then you will also be creative in how you achieve that creativity.


My computers just do what I tell them to do, each an inert piece of hardware that passively processes my instructions - it doesn’t interpret them and therefore is incapable of recognising, pattern matching , comparing, or any other form of heuristic behaviour, HP’s ad agency on the other hand recognise insecurities in the commercial creative communities, specifically among those seeking an edge, advantage or indeed excuse, as a result of lazy or lack of creativity, such as that which spawned that stupid ad in the first instance.