Sunday, December 07, 2014

Be Creative to Save The World

The creative space is the ultimate retreat of a humanity under siege.

Technology is already turning upon us. Those who celebrate technological progress, have already made it antonymous to human progress, by dislocating the concern for greater good from the pursuit of technological sophistry. To make billions, one needs to think up an Uber: To think about what happens to poor taxi drivers who want to play by the rules isn't one for the entrepreneurial playbook. With the return on capital as the overriding concern, and when more and more capital is pooled into the pursuit of ever better technologies that may replace all but those brilliant, favoured and lucky few, technology is more like that celebrity lover that we may all desire, but whose celebrity does indeed render our own plainness irredeemable, our lives meaningless.

Creativity, counterintuitively, is our opportunity to reclaim our lives. This is counterintuitive because we have gotten used to a certain concept of creativity, something that's associated with genius, a few special people. This seems to belong to those same special people who hold the harness of technological progress: Indeed, it is companies like Google or Apple, the information elite, that win the creative awards. But, creativity, with a small c, that everyday practise to be able to think counter intuitively, to defy what's mandated and to unleash the desires, is a play on that most personal of the assets we all have: The time of our lives! This is like that derelict unused spaces that have been bought over by the developers of the global empires, but abandoned by them in their cruel neglect of human concerns and grand designs for a robotic future. Our playtime, till we parcel it out in the quest of those new toys that boost our ego a little, is all we have left to remain human: An accidental tune, a purposeless post, even a walk without deadline or destination, are acts of resistance, of reposession of ourselves and our lives.

And when we commit to creativity, we suddenly restore our equation with technology: we become the masters we use to be, rather than irrelevant bodies soon to be replaced. We use the technologies that sustain us and extend our capabilities, those connect us with our world and our loved ones, those of possibilities; the mere act of defying our self-imposed immaturity, once more in history, is needed to help us escape the mortal danger of inhumanisation that we all face.

This moment, of a possible re-enlightenment, our humanity hangs in the balance. The stake in the success of the creative enterprise has never been greater. We debate and discuss the Power Law economy, but by no means it is a given. The humanity has proven to be masters of its own faith at many critical junctures in history, and one hope it would prove so again. The road to this redeeming possibility lies through creativity: An invitation to creativity should be seen as a plea to save the world.



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