I've done a lot of programming, and also quite a bit of acting.
The types of thinking "oblique strategies" suggest can be amazing for figuring out a new different way to act a scene -- an absolute goldmine. But they're of absolutely zero use in programming.
Similarly, the kind of logical and analytical thinking that helps in programming... seems to be purely harmful in acting.
It actually took me quite a long time to realize how fundamentally different the kind of thinking needed for creative vs. analytical tasks is. At least for me, there is almost zero useful transference. If anything, being good at one interferes with the other, until you learn to keep the skills separate.
In my experience, the few times I've the most creative ideas, I had them in the bathroom -- and usually after I've been turning over ideas (writing and rewriting in Google Docs) for days. (Writing helped with converging -- it's not as useful for diverging. Talking to others usually helps for the latter but it's hit or miss.)
Oblique Strategies cards sound like they would be useful for certain artistic domains. When I was taking creative writing and storytelling classes, I had a lot of trouble generating story ideas. I used similar randomizer aids (as writing prompts) to see latent possibilities.
There are similar tools for generating startup ideas but I wonder if anyone's ever executed on any of these:
Coincidentally I just revived and tweaked it a bit yesterday, results should be a better from here on. Tweets more or less daily.
Brian Eno and Will Wright discussed generative systems at a Long Now Foundation seminar in 2006:
Brian Eno and Danny Hillis discussed "The Long Now, Now" at a Long Now Foundation seminar in 2010:
Brian Eno, Steward Brand, and Alexander Rose discuss "Long Finance" at a Long Now Foundation seminar in 2010:
Create your own with the Brian Eno Bloom app too :)
The default is, of course, Tarot card readings which has a nicely formatted text and some analysis in the dariusk/corpora repo . It'd be nice to have something similar so others can play around with it without fear of copyright infringement.
It picks a card based on the recorded time on-press-up as well as the current accelerometer reading.
I've used it for many bugs while programming. I find that the little bit of insight/encouragement goes a long way.
It has a very unique case made out of Dupont Corion, a material I’ve never seen anywhere else in my life. It feels and looks like white marble but is actually a form of plastic. Some of the cards have been redesigned in collaboration with Peter Norton and Brian Eno, and there’s a unique intro card too.
Details on the Peter Norton special edition:
Took some pics just now:
Special Peter Norton card here:
Full gallery here:
But you can get a feel for the idea online, eg https://www.joshharrison.net/oblique-strategies/
This site used to have some really funky color combinations that were inspiring all on their won, but unfortunately it's a little bland now.
I can definitely see how this could work (I've used writing prompts in the past and they've helped). Just wondered if there were examples outside of the writing world.
True, creativity is hard to learn or teach, but it is something you can prepare yourself for and train.
Also, I might get incensed by just the fact that I have to wait for traffic-lights to change! So having a mental task to perform at that time seems to help. It feels more like an opportunity then than obstacle.
I don't do it much these days but now that I read about Eno's oblique strategies maybe I'll give this some more attention :-)
They're a bit more concrete than Oblique Strategies which makes them a bit more useful as a tool rather than just a prompt or something to think on.
Even more interesting is that Robert Fripp (a frequent Eno collaborator) composed the startup sound for Windows Vista: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-LYZt2jisE
For a long time I’ve thought of creating my own version of the deck. I’ve heard it can be used punctually to get out of a dead end, or from the very start through the whole creative process.
(Years before they made this, I was briefly acquainted with one of the creators not named John August.)
Where Holzer's statements can be used to explain, Eno's are to resolve.
It was mainly an experiment to see how changing character spacing could create different forms, and then loosely relating those forms back to the prompts.
A tool for Creativity born in the Polytechnic University of Milan. A synthesis of Design, Tarot and Gestalt Psychology.
There's a twitter bot that randomly posts the cards , which is cool too