Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Smuel, May 3, 2012.
So, just you then?
I'm not moving to Korea today after all. We were about 5 minutes from boarding the plane when Cinnabon announced that they are halting all employee reassignments to Korea due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, our car and all our household goods are already en route to Korea. So... kinda left in the lurch. They're saying it will probably be May before they start sending people again.
God bless America.
Still with the "we" and "our". This is starting to get out of hand...
It's been decided, I am now working from home from tomorrow. So instead of my hour walk in to get to work, I'll probably be playing on Skyrim/chronically masturbating until I need to start.
And instead of walking home for about an hour, well - see above. And don't get me started on lunch time!
Good coronavirus Dark Ages everyone!
Well, apart from the Skyrim, somehow I never got into that game.
And it doesn't take me an hour to get to work.
And I may or may not be working from home.
I'll probably jerk off though!
I didn't jerk off. There was no need. Turns out your mom isn't adhering to the advice to self isolate.
When I pointed out that she could become a disease vector, she was like "Eh, no change there then."
Jojobobo: Ignores Smuel's implied sex act involving his mother and makes innocuous comment about how she is a good conversationalist and so must have distracted from rapturous wanking.
Smuel: Doubles down and insists he drizzled jizz on Jojobobo's mum.
I mean, I think I've got the beats of our next couple of posts are right here. Is this where this forum has headed, Smuel? Is this what we have become?
It was a generic "your mom", not your mother specifically. But it's nice to know that you're comfortable discussing her freedom of sexual expression.
Better to be a generous lover than not a lover at all. Your mom's attitude goes a long way towards explaining why your dad sucks so much dick.
An elusive "your dad" is spotted roaming the forums. I haven't seen one of those since the Incest Wars of 2012.
It's a shame ytzk's not here. He's missing the apocalypse! And after he waited for it for so long too.
I like to think he's off in the wild outback somewhere, oblivious to the coronavirus pandemic, carefully wiping his ass with eucalyptus leaves. Not because of the toilet paper shortage, but because "that's what nature intended, old bean."
It's finally happened, an Arcanum meme (and not by me, for clarity): https://www.reddit.com/r/arcanum/comments/fmemp8/_/
I mean if you're looking for omens of the end times... Good morning.
The future is now old man.
I have a theory.
There are three fundamental pillars of (eternity! lol) human endeavour, which most activities that add value can be categorised under:
Examples of pure creativity are things like art, writing, or composing. You can do them by yourself and nobody sees the result until it's ready. Performance is all about technique, and includes things like acting and dancing - the final product is something you practiced until you can repeat it in front of an audience. Science is where you analyse stuff and apply well established principles to solve problems or reach a goal. The most obvious example of science would be science.
Where it gets interesting is that some things cross multiple categories. Dancing is like this if you are improvising or creating a routine of your own, rather than following a set sequence designed by someone else. Sport is often a mix of performance and creativity - you have to practice the basic moves, but on the field your own ability to come up with good plays is what makes you a winner. On the other hand a sport like running doesn't have any creativity because you don't have an opponent to outwit, it's more a mix of performance and science. Bodybuilding is pure science really - lift this amount, this many times, and eat like this. Somebody else has worked out the optimum routines for you and you just have to follow them - it's not something you need to practice in the sense of improving your skill for a final performance of that skill.
The above isn't my theory though. Well it is my theory in the sense that I've never heard anyone else say it before, but it's not what I'm here to tell you about today. Today's theory is:
Creativity can't be taught.
With performance, you need a teacher first to show you what to do, and then to watch you do it and tell you how to get better. With science, lots of other people have done lots of work already, and you take what they discovered and build on it, or apply it to new situations. But with creativity, nobody can show you how to be a great writer, or a great composer. You pick it up from exposure to stories, or banging tunes, and apply what "feels right" when creating your own works. Shakespeare didn't study character development or pacing at school, he was just made to translate old Latin texts like every other schoolboy at the time. He knew not to use Deus Ex Machina as a technique not because someone told him "don't use Deus Ex Machina" but because when he read examples of it in those old Latin texts his own reaction would have been "That feels cheap, I don't want my audience feeling what I just felt, so I won't use that in my own stories."
This is why I get annoyed when I see writing courses advertised. Telling stories is a fundamental human talent. If someone can't do it, they can't do it. I get doubly annoyed when the course is being given by a successful writer who should know better. I bet they never went on a writing course, they just picked up a pen, or put down a keyboard, and started writing. You couldn't stop them from writing. They had to write. Creativity in different fields is built into human beings, or in some cases it isn't. A teacher might be able to inspire you, or encourage you, but they can't teach you creativity.
I've put this here because I don't have anyone else to tell this to, but I'd also like to know what you all think. i.e. both Jojobobo and Japes.
I would say you can learn techniques that make your own creativity easier - particularly in regards to writing. For example dialogue in writing is something that takes skill to articulate properly (it's definitely something that I struggle with when attempting to write), so there are skills that can be learnt to make your writing better - whether these fall under science/performance I wouldn't know.
However inspiration, whether it's coming up with new ideas or unique takes on old ideas, is something that can't be taught and is very much an amalgamation of your personal experiences. People will always have their own idiosyncrasies that makes their approach to particular subject matter unique.
Something that struck me when watching the Meaning of Life again was Monty Python's unbridled creativity, and how such finely honed absurdism is something they did which I don't think has ever been replicated again to the same level. There's a fine line with absurd comedy where it loses any semblance to real life and just becomes fucking stupid (I think most egregious example of this I've seen of this is the Greasy Strangler - which was fucking dogshit), so I think that's a good example of unreplicable creativity.
So what I'm trying to say is Monty Python = Shakespeare.
Oh yeah? Well that's just YOUR opinion, you low-life piece of... wait... you agree with me? Huh, I wasn't expecting that. Maybe we really are living in the end times.
You can absolutely teach creativity, in that you can confer upon a student the means of creating an outward reflection of their inner vision. What can't be taught is the drive that is required to master a craft, and inner vision can't be manufactured.
That kind of seems like saying you can't teach creativity, if creativity is the inner vision part. You can encourage someone, but I don't think you can teach it.
I like to think I'm a reasonably decent writer these days, but I did terribly badly in English class at school. In fact, looking back, it's clear to me that none of my English teachers had any idea how to teach creative writing. They spent most of the time doing what was called "comprehension", which consisted of going over some bit of text or poetry and pointing out all the things that made it awesome. And I could never do it, not least because none of the isolated snippets could capture my imagination. Homework assignments were to write about things I didn't care about, so I could never do those either. One time, when I was 11, we were supposed to write about a room. I went home and laboured over a six-page fantasy adventure story where, at one point, our hero enters a room. At the time, it was the most epic piece I had ever written. The next day the teacher told me off for not doing the assignment properly. It's true that I learned a lesson that day, but it certainly wasn't about creativity.
Now, you may be thinking, "Smuel, you fatuous ass-wipe, all that shows is that your particular teachers were incompetent." Fine - how should they have taught creative writing instead then? Perhaps by going over the elements of what makes a good story. Or discussing how to create tension between a protagonist and antagonist. Sure. But I'm pretty sure that if I'd been given an assignment to write a story that had a protagonist and an antagonist, I would have written a six-page fantasy adventure where, at one point, our hero meets some guy he doesn't like, and then the next day I would have been told off for not doing the assignment properly.
Now, you may be thinking, "Smuel, you gelatinous imbecile, all that shows is that you were you an insufferable little ball-bag." That may be true, although I did pretty well in other subjects. Even so, despite hating English class and continuously getting bad marks, I still managed to absorb all the lessons necessary for creative writing simply by reading books and watching films and having a standard-issue human brain to process it all. And guess what - it turns out I like writing after all. You'd think I would have been all over lessons that taught me how to do it when I was at school, but nope.
Now, you may be thinking, "Wait, Smuel, you jumped up bell-end, I've changed my objection to be that actually your teachers did an excellent job of teaching you creativity, since you turned out so great (you are thinking this part in a sarcastic tone of voice), you just didn't realise it until later, you pustulent snot-rag." To which I say, firstly, thanks for saying that I'm great (sarcasm doesn't convey very well in written form), but secondly, well, this was my point about Shakespeare - he got the same education as every schoolboy at the time, but where are all the other Shakespeares? Where are the genius writers who were at school with me and experienced those same amazing lessons as I did?
Yeah, they don't exist. It's almost as if creativity can't be taught.
Now, you may be thinking, "Aha, I've got you this time Smuel, you constipated buffoon. The school system isn't supposed to teach you creativity. School is there to condition us how to be good conformist capitalists. That's why you need creative writing courses later in life, if that's what you decide you want to do, you monochrome barnacle." Okay, so leaving aside the weird ytzk style hippy conspiracy theory which snuck in the middle there, that's not what anyone says about other subjects. Like, they teach maths because they are hoping some of us will grow up to be engineers or accountants. They teach French because they hope some of us will grow up and not vote for Brexit. I think if you asked an English teacher whether any of their students could become writers, they would say "My students? Nah, they're all stupid lazy little shits."
Gee thanks, hypothetical English teacher, you were supposed to confirm my point for me. Anyway, I think that if creativity could be taught, we would have worked out how to do it by now, and it would be a major part of education. As it is, we don't really teach it at all in school, yet there is a constant stream of self-taught geniuses popping up here and there regardless, who then teach "creative writing classes" when they're old and have run out of inspiration and are trying to milk a final few residual pennies from a gullible public.
Good morning, you prick.
I think there's a lot of discouraging school systems out there, and it fucking sucks. It means a lot of people don't realise their true potential, and I think it's shit. It's even enough to see every day, if you talk to someone (and have a grasp of how sharp they are) and learn how utterly unsuited they are to where they've settled in life.
I remember when we had a long term substitute teacher at my primary school, ironically called Mrs. Moody (nominative determinism at finest), and she was asking what different numbers could be put together to make up 4. I said, 2 - minus 2, and she said I was wrong, even though I was operating legitimately at a far better mathematical level than the rest of my class. Fortunately, I guess I'm a smug enough prick to in hindsight think it's pretty funny.
In another instance, my English teacher wanted people to come up with a story based on the book we were being taught (I want to say it was the Kite Flyer, based on Chinese kids who were strapped to kites, but I can't a book by that name through lazy Googling). She said it had to be two sides of A4.
Anyway, I made a lazy effort on a story previously and she'd graded it 10/10. For this, I really went whole hog, I stayed up all night, it was about a crazy Chinese dragon rising out of pearlescent clouds (none of which was in the book BTW, it was a strictly non-fantasy story). It was my own unique take, it was also about 2 and a half sides, so I re-wrote it and crammed my writing and eventually got it to 2 sides (which may or may not have made my handwriting look different).
So I handed it in, I was grade 9 at the time. My teacher made me stay after class, and she said it was too good and more or less at a high GSCE level (despite having graded my previous lower effort a 10/10). She graded it in front of me for dramatic effect an 8/10 and said my parents must have written it for me. My mum complained, but it literally came to nothing. I heard the same teacher accidentally cooked her cat alive later (it jumped into a hot oven when she opened the door and never noticed), and I've never been quite sure what to make of that.
And you would think this would all be a good thing, like I'm too good, but it was one of the many things that made me fundamentally have very serious trust issues. She literally with very firm conviction called a 12/13 year old a liar, and I cried my eyes out.
And to cut a long story short, on the back of my fine intellectual genius, I went onto to do a PhD and got treated like a cunt again.
I can understand why you're sore Smuel. Don't get hung up on it, you clearly have a fine grasp of language - if you want to write than maintain a job and write in your spare time and try to make a go of it. At least you haven't built a life out of being intellectually okay but being practically and extremely undervalued (as I've mentioned before, very earnestly called a retard in front of my entire office while doing a PhD by a lieutenant post-doc, and I wouldn't even describe that as the worst of it given how much confidence destroying shit that I occurred) so much so that you've had to change course from a fairly natural path onto general university support that I'm doing currently (and more confident in - and rather preferring than being treated nonsensically like a fucking idiot for no good reason).
By my estimation I would have rather been undervalued, than be half-valued and then half treated worse than a complete brain dead fucking moron by people who did so less by assessment of capability and more so than because work place bullying just made them feel better. And I'm sure if I'd I raised an HR complaint, as the less confident less intellectual guy of the group, it would have just come across as sour grapes rather than having to work day to day with borderline psychopaths.
I think I've gotten pretty sore by the end of all this, I apologise.
Good morning, you person.
Well that was a bit pompous and self-pitying, even by my standards.
Separate names with a comma.