Creative constraints

Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or … does it?

If you’re like most people you’d probably be paralyzed by this task. Why?

Brandon Rodriguez explains how creative constraints actually help drive discovery and innovation.

With each invention, the engineers demonstrated an essential habit of scientific thinking – that solutions must recognize the limitations of current technology in order to advance it.

Understanding constraints guides scientific progress, and what’s true in science is also true in many other fields.

Constraints aren’t the boundaries of creativity, but the foundation of it.

— The power of creative constraints

— Lesson by Brandon Rodriguez

— animation by CUB Animation

— TED-Ed


We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.

— Carl Jung



2018.02.17 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK


Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

— Emerson

One experience [almost] always helps another, because the first experience betters you, to deal with the second experience; even if the first experience is unpleasant.

— Me@2011.07.16

— Me@2015.11.19

2015.11.19 Thursday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Action | Uncertainty

Action can decrease your uncertainty. That’s why the policy of “go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you’ll see farther” works, as long as the overall direction is correct.

— Me@2011.07.25

Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you’ll see farther. — Thomas Carlyle — Me@2003

見步行步, 行步見步 — 卓韻芝

2014.11.15 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

The Nice Guy Paradox, 2

Being a nice guy can be a problem, because “always being nice” gives no feedback and no directions. In effect, “always being nice” gives people an infinite number of choices. Remember,

choices ~ headaches

In other words, you should be nice as often as possible, but not always. Be angry when you have to.

— Me@2011.06.26

— Me@2014.06.22

2014.06.22 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Deadline 5


— 孫子兵法

Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve. Officers and men alike will put forth their uttermost strength.

Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. If there is no place of refuge, they will stand firm. If they are in hostile country, they will show a stubborn front. If there is no help for it, they will fight hard.

— The Art of War (Sun)/Section XI

When there is no choice, there is no uncertainty.

You do not have to use any brainpower to make any decisions.

So you take the actions directly.

— Me@2011.04.26

choice ~ uncertainty

fear ~ the feeling of uncertainty

no choice ~ no fear

別無選擇 ~ 沒有不安

— Me@2013.09.08

2013.09.09 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Constraints, 2

Give me a million dollars and I’ll figure out what to do. But it’s harder than it looks. Constraints give your life shape. Remove them and most people have no idea what to do: look at what happens to those who win lotteries or inherit money.

— How to do what you love

— Paul Graham

Constraints decrease the number of choices, thus decrease uncertainty. Therefore, constraints give shape to your life.

— Me@2010.12.27

2013.04.02 Tuesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK


這段改編自 2010 年 6 月 15 日的對話。

那你又不應太緊張。不安是因為不知道自己將會考成怎樣。但是,如果你跟足我提議的,「計時間計分數」做 past paper(歷屆試題)的系統,你就會在考試前,事先知道自己,會奪得大概多少分數。那樣,你的心情自然會穩定得多。

例如,如果考試前所做的那幾份 past papers,每道長題目的 d 部分,通常也完成不到,你就可以預計到,一分面,你不會奪得最高等級的成績;另一方面,你亦不會奪得太差等級的成績,因為除了長題目的最尾一部分外,其他題目部分你都可應付自如。


— Me@2013.03.16

2013.03.17 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Mind uncertainty

People like talking because that can give them a feeling of decreasing uncertainty within their minds, although sometimes, that feeling is an illusion.

— Me@2013.01.07

The more emotional unstable you are, the more talking your need.

— Me@2013.01.08

2013.01.08 Tuesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK