Re: Creativity

Subject: Re: Creativity
From: Michael Keene <MKEENE -at- UTKVX -dot- UTK -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 1994 09:24:48 -0500

On Fri, 11 Nov 1994, Ed Hoornaert wrote:

> <snip>

> So, what is the role of all this creativity in the tech writing process?
> Does it help, hinder, and if so, under what circumstances? Is creativity
> a way of thinking that helps when faced with a process or page layout
> problem? Do you consider yourself creative, or a technician?

I think you've put your finger on it when you ask about the role of
creativity. But I think the "creative, or a technician" is a false
dichotomy. Somewhere back there before Aristotle there was a third way,
not theory, not practice, but practice-informed-by-theory ("tekne" is how
the Greek transliterates); Aristotle kind of flattened it out when he
called it "productive art." I don't remember much from back then, but it
seems to me really great shoemakers, physicians, musicians, and some
farmers had that. I think that's the kind of creativity we have. Maybe
not (often) uppercase "C" Creativity, but creativity nonetheless.

I also agree with the person who said we've learned how to learn. It's
interesting that no less than Peter Drucker thinks those with that gift
will be economic gods in the next century--"The Knowledge Society"--any
takers on that bet?

Mike Keene
mkeene -at- utkvx -dot- utk -dot- edu

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