In our mobile lab class at UTD we’re playing with iPhones and iPod Touches and figuring out which apps work, which ones don’t, which ones meet our needs, and which ones simply don’t yet exist. I love the experimental think-tank sort of class time and the unstructured thought processes we will be going through.
I’m finding that my biggest problem with creativity in these classes is not having the ideas themselves, but in fact, recognizing them as new ideas in the first place. Or the possibility of pollution by other ideas, and how far from someone else’s idea is mine?
I get information from hundreds of articles, tweets, conversations, webpages, blog posts, emails, LOLcats and now iPhone apps a day, and it’s difficult for me to say, “this is my new idea and it’s allll mine”. All someone has to do is tag a tiny part of it to someone else’s previous idea and boom, no longer mine, or original or different. And sometimes I have “ideas” that this other researcher already had, I just haven’t heard about it yet. So someone in the know says, “Oh, yeah, so-and-so talked about that last week in his blah blah blah”. So I don’t follow them, haven’t read the article and I don’t have a completely new idea, but heck, it was new to me, right? I have the same thought processes as this other brilliant person, I’m just behind the curve by a week?
Isn’t every “new” idea usually built upon other ideas? Is no idea an island? And on the recognition of an idea as new, I need to make sure I have a high tolerance for correction, for hearing that someone else has had the idea, and I need to verbalize my ideas more (or at least write them down), because while a broken clock is right 2x a day, perchance my idea is indeed new. Hmm. Bears thinking about.