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Variations on a Theme

Creativity is about constraints. Weirdly, many people seem to see creativity as the opposite, as being about expansion. We must think outside the box. We must generate ideas. The problem of how to be creative is the problem of thinking up things. But this is wrong. Or in any case, the opposite is just as correct. Creativity is all about thinking inside the right box. There is an infinite amount of possible ideas. The problem is not how to come up with ideas, but how to remove the ideas that are no good. The problem is not how to think outside the box, but where on the infinite plain of thought to put it. Creative work is about finding ever narrower constraints, until you are left with only one idea that fits the bill. That’s the right one.

That’s one hell of a paragraph.

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