On 23/03/2009, at 1:56 AM, John Mikes wrote:

> Russell,
> you are not alone  as the target of this remark...
> Many people consider 'creativity' (like "change", "quality" etc.) a  
> POSITIVE concept. - WRONG. -
> Just consider the recent creative financial genius Maddoff, with his  
> b$50 scam - he was creative. And so are tyrants, criminals, galore.  
> (Don't forget politicians<G>)

But surely people are driven by their VALUES, John? Creativity is like  
a gun - it's about as good or as bad as the person wielding it. I  
could go one better than you in this direction: the perpetrators of  
9/11 were creative geniuses (as Karlheinz Stockhausen, German composer  
said publicly on the day of 9/11, after seeing the TV images). They  
gave the world an incredibly potent lesson in Lateral Thinking: when  
is a jetliner not a jetliner? When it's a BOMB...

But you fail to mention the beneficial creativity of people like Ray  
Kurzweil (My Kurzweil 2500 sampling keyboard-synthesiser will be  
buried with me in my coffin), Tim Berners-Lee (who invented the Web)  
and - well, I'm tempted to add Steven Wolfram for his Alpha Net engine  
but then I can hear the howls of disapproval already.

John, if it hadn't been for creativity the human race would still be  
living in caves and living in fear of darkness and night.

Creativity merely IS, like elephants and soy beans. You can use it to  
do "good" or "wreak evil". More or less the proof that it is something  
real and worthy of our further effort of understanding.

Madoff was (is) indeed creative - I wouldn't give you five cents for  
his values though. Hitler was in some respects a creative genius,  
unfortunately he possessed very dubious values.

Best regards,


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