On the Creativity of Childhood and the Magic of Technology

A couple of really good links to share to start your week:

1. Childhood and Creativity

In my Creative Thinking class today, we are discussing the creative personality (starting with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of creative complexity), and a perfect companion is Maria Konnikova’s recent Scientific American piece, “The Big Lesson of a Little Prince: (Re)capture the Creativity of Childhood“:

“Imagining yourself a child, it seems, can quite literally make your mind more flexible, more original, more open to creative input and more capable of generating creative output—a nice complement to past findings that laughter and positive mood have much the same effect...” Read More

2. Encyclopedias, iPads, and Arthur C. Clarke

I really enjoyed Bill Chance’s post “All the Information in the World,” in which he looks with candor and complexity at the recent announcement the Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer publisher print editions. My parents bought a World Book Encyclopedia set in 1969. It still sits on my father’s bookshelf, and my 20-year-old son, a history and political science buff, greatly enjoys reading about the world from a 40+ year perspective. We bought him his own World Book set when he was seven. At the same time, I am in continual awe of the magic of our modern world. Is this all good or bad? The answer is yes.

“If you went back in time to, say 1969, and said, ‘Hey, for half the cost of that shelf full of heavy books, I’m going to give you a little book or pad, about the size of a magazine, that you can take anywhere with you and when you touch it, the content you are looking for will appear on it, more or less instantly. It will be in full color, with sound and full-motion television, when appropriate. You’ll have to throw the old, paper ones away, though. To keep it updated you’ll have to pay two dollars a month. Oh, and if you need a break you can play Angry Birds on it too.’

It makes me think of Arthur C Clarke’s third law- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. A fully loaded iPad would have looked like magic in 1969…” Read More

How will you imagine yourself a child today?

What form of technology feels like magic to you?

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