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

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

— Carl Jung

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2018.02.17 Saturday (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

投之無所往,死且不北。死焉不得,士人盡力。兵士甚陷則不懼,無所往則固,深入則拘,不得已則鬥。

— 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

無限循環

A time to fear, 4 | Recursion 8

人害怕「不確定性」,簡稱「未知」、「未定」、或者「不安」。「未知」是知識狀態;「不安」則是情緒起伏。「未知」導致「不安」。

人腦的特定是,時刻都想確定,下一步應該怎樣做。「不確定性」導致人腦,不能立刻決定,下一步的行動是什麼。那樣,人腦就會處於,一個「不斷企圖做決定,但又做不到決定」的無限循環(infinite loop)、跳上跳落的躍動狀態:

要做決定 –> 資料未夠–> 再試 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> 要做決定 –> 不行 –> …

所以,「未知」導致「不安」。

對電腦程式來說,要打破一個「無限循環」,要麼到達「終止條件」(terminating condition / boundary case);要麼乾脆把它,從程式碼中刪除。

對人腦心靈而言,要結束一個「煩惱不安」,要麼有新的資料,導致做到決定;要麼索性把它,從思考中忘記。

簡而言之,要麼「解結」,要麼「斬結」。

— Me@2012.03.08

— Me@2012.12.31

2012.12.31 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Freedom 4

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.

— Jean-Paul Sartre

Freedom is a headache. But freedom is better than no-freedom because if you have freedom and do not like it, you can use your freedom to decrease your freedom. However, if you have no freedom and do not like it, you do not have freedom to increase your freedom.

— Me@2011.11.17

2012.10.08 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

凝固文章

種子論起點 10.3.2 | 網誌時代 12.3.2 | 專家博士(製作特輯)3

這段改編自 2010 年 3 月 20 日的對話。

每次寫文章時,我會採取「最低消費」策略:在文章內容的發展上,見步行步,行步見步。

每次聽錄音,抄錄自己的對話時,只要「集齊」一個要點,我就會停筆,立刻發表。該篇文章之後的「劇情」如何發展,我會暫時置之不理。我不會刻意去理會,未來的文章,會與手頭上的文章,將會如何互動。

那樣做,就可以化解了剛才所提,寫文章的兩大難題:

寫文章雖然有趣,但同時令人厭惡。每次寫得越少,厭惡的程度就會越細。

一篇文章的思考單位越多,就越難組合得正確而優美。如果每篇也只有一個主要的思考單位,就容易組合得多,因為根本毋須「組合」。有時,解決問題的最好方法是,令自己根本毋須解決那個問題。

另外,一篇文章發表以後,我就不會再修改,除非有明顯的錯別字。如果事後發現有嚴重的思想漏洞,我會索性把該篇文章刪除。

每一篇文章,我也視之為最後的一個版本。人生苦短,假設我每日寫一篇文章,一生人就只可以寫到三萬多篇。與其留戀舊文章,倒不如,花那些時間去創作新文章,傳播新思想。

額外的好處是,凝固已寫的文章,一方面,往後的文章不會被它「滋擾」:寫新文章時,我毋須考慮,那些新思想,對舊文章有什麼影響,因為,我根本不打算去修改它。

另一方面,文章一凝固了,就可以化身成,往後文章的基礎:每一篇文章的內容,會自動成為下一篇內容的種子。每一篇的終結,會自動成為下一篇的起點。

— Me@2012.02.06

2012.02.06 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Status quo bias

魔間傳奇 2.5.2

Whenever there are choices, people tend to choose the status quo,

whether they should or not,

for the uncertainty seems to be much less,  and the responsibility seems to be much lower,

although sometimes it is not the case.

— Me@2011.08.30

2011.08.30 Tuesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK