Archive | February 2014

Reflection on “creativity & invention”

“The sweetest victory is the one that’s most difficult. The one that requires you to reach down deep inside, to fight with everything you’ve got, to be willing to leave everything out there on the battlefield—without knowing, until that do-or-die moment, if your heroic effort will be enough.” I really love this quote, it’s so inspiring at moments of failure and it basically sums Richard Turere’s story up. Two main things really caught my attention in the video. The first thing is Richard’s perseverance to achieve what he wanted to, especially after not only failing but even coming up with a solution that attracted lions instead of repelling or at least not affecting them. Any person in his shoes would have probably felt ashamed from his father and had feeling of guilt that would have lead him/her to give up. The second thing is that he simply doesn’t care about what people would think or how retarded what he wants to do may seem. This was so obvious when he was asked at the end of the video about his next invention; his answer was an electric fence, which he knew that it has been already done but he simply wanted to do one! It shows a lot of devotion to learning and confidence in his self that he thinks he may discover something new about it. Moreover, the risk that he took by taking his mother’s radio to try his idea that he had no idea if it was going to work or not tell a lot about Richard Turere personality, exactly as the quote above mentioned “fighting with every thing he had”.

Another very important points that would relate to those who claim that it’s very hard for Egyptians to learn how to be creative are the boy’s age, social standard and education. If a 13 years old boy who grew in place where people make their living from raising animals (shepherds) and where educations isn’t that advanced at all, if it even existed, then Egyptians can definitely learn to be creative!

Most of us don’t deal with failures as trial and error experiments, that is why we give up so easily after few failures to achieve what we want to do or even just one failure is more than enough to send their dreams and ideas deep to the ocean. We have to start working on changing this attitude and start following Edison’s path and consider failures as finding ways won’t work!

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Dr. Patch Adams

Look beyond the problem to see the solution!

WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM by Steven Johnson (reflection)

This video and the one posted on the class blog clarify more on the idea of creative thinking and support what we have been discussing lately.If we considered what Steven Johnson mentioned, that people used to drink alcohol through out the day and linking it to being the reason they were able to come up with great ideas, it would make senses. People where mostly not totally aware or bound by the society and what other people would think of them or their ideas, they simply shared them so openly, exactly like kids do at young age. The process of filtering and trying to modify the ideas and thoughts so that they would fit with the cultural norms didn’t exist due to their unawareness of reality as they are partiality drunk. They basically had much less idea killers.

The second idea that Steven raised in his videos is how are ideas born and developed. I totally agree that ideas aren’t just based on experiments or absolute science, it is more of an outcome of the communication of different ideas or “collision of hunches” as he called it. Science and experiments are just to test the applicability and correctness of these ideas! Communicating ideas is more or less like a catalyst that speeds up the process of ideas development or turning them into breakthroughs. A very good example that came to my mind is a very cliche scene that exists in most of  the movies, where the actors are sitting somewhere trying to figure out a solution for their problem and then one of them (usually the most dummy)  says something that seems very stupid, but it turns to be the perfect solution for their disaster.However, it seems like we are afraid to communicate or share our hunches apparently due to lack of confidence and fear of criticism

The question is, if communicating ideas is  the key to come up with great ideas though merging and mingling few partially mature  ones. Why does it seem that we are  so stuck nowadays even though we have way more advanced and easier ways of communication as opposed to what they had in the past?!

Creative communication

Mannequins of disabled people, creative isn’t it ?! It may seem as a “great idea” for most of us but to disabled people this might be way more than just that!

Creative communication, controversial messages reflection!

This video is a song for an Egyptian singer called Abou El Leef. He has been making songs that discuss problems that we have in our society through a sarcastic way.

Abou EL Leef has been a mater of debate for a long while since his songs showed up in the market. Many people were arguing that what he is doing shouldn’t be even considered an art or music and that this type of music should be banned from the market. Others believe that he is doing a great job reaching out to certain classes of the society and communicating societal problems in a simple way.

The song that I have shared is highlighting few of the main problems that we have in our country, through comparing Egypt with Paris or western culture in general. However, like the song we listened to in the class, the solution that was suggested by the singer is the song was to just immigrate to one of these countries where everything is perfect. The argument about this song was regarding two main things. The first thing is that the song focused only on the negative aspects that we have in our society and magnified them to seem that they can never be solved. On the other hand, the other side of the picture presented in the song was Paris (the west). The song describes the west to be the heaven on earth, the place that has everything perfect and flawless, but is it true or even close to the truth?!
Another controversy regarding this song was if this would be the right approach to motivate the Egyptians to aim for a better future, a lot of people argue that it is. While many people thought that it’s sort of publicizing for the fake American dream, offering moving to a western country as the easiest solution for escaping our country’s problem.

Another song that I came across was “Hotel California” by the Eagles, this song can have more than one meaning and most of the people don’t really get what the song is really about!! I would like that whoever reads this blog listen to the song and leave a comment about what he thinks this song is about and then proceed with reading.
There have been a lot of arguments concerning this song and its meaning or message or even if it has one in the first place. After studying a course about religions in Los Angeles, I realized that the song discusses the experiences of LA from most of the immigrants’ perspective!

Nick Vujicic… Get back up!!

A short motivational video about how we should face failure instead of fearing it and how to get back up and move on with life in general and with what we believe in or want to learn.

Failure 101 video reflection

After watching the video of Kathryn Schul (failure 101) I realized that people generally have a difficulty with understanding the problem (question in the video) in the first place. When the audiences were asked about how does being wrong feel like, they all responded to a different question. FAILURE seemed like a MONSTER to most of the people who responded, they all associated it with negative thoughts and emotions. They fear and refuse to fail, because the culture and the way they have been raised looks down upon failing and those who fail. For instance, parents always raise their kids in a way that it’s not acceptable to fail no matter what they are doing, instead of motivating them to get back up and try again whenever they fail.

Below is the link for an article titled “7 reasons you will never do anything amazing with your life”. However, the article contains few words that may not be appropriate for an academic course, thus I added a picture for the points that I want to refer to.

http://raymmar.com/7-reasons-youll-never-do-anything-amazing-life/

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Few days ago I came across this article titled “7 reasons you will never do anything amazing with your life”; shocking and depressing, isn’t it?! Unfortunately, it’s very true and would apply to most of us including myself.  I would like to share with you the few of the reasons mentioned in the article that relate to this topic. The first reason is all about the benefits of failing in our lives rather than their drawbacks. People usually think that failing is the end of the world and that they should be ashamed of themselves or blame themselves that they should have done more effort. Sometimes people even stop trying to do what they want because they are just afraid to fail!! They should modify/adjust their perspective about failure, from being a monster to what was mentioned in the article that it is part of the learning process of anything, in our case learning to be creative. “Because as I fail, I learn, and then adjust my course to make sure my path is always forward”

The second reason was actually quite interesting to me. Raymar Tirado mentioned that “you believe that being different is only cool if you’re different in the same way that other people are different.” which, totally contradicts the point of creativity. Creativity should be about thinking out of the box, without boundaries or limits, thus setting norms and rules that we should abide with in the process ruins the whole thing. 

Finally I would like to share with you a 2 minutes motivational video about how we should face failure instead of fearing it and how to get back up and move on with what we believe in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzAs6uuPB_A

Confidence and creativity video reflection

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Two of the most famous world’s artists in history (who lived in different eras) had agreed on the exact same principals that are nowadays concern. Picasso claimed that we are all born with an artistic (creative) sense, but the actual problem is how to hold tight to this gift, as we grow up, that each and everyone of is granted. I recall what Dr. Hoda was telling us in class about the statistics of the study that was conducted to test children creativity at different ages. The results showed that the majority of children seemed to be very creative at young age and their creativity decreased as they proceeded with their education. Which, fits perfectly with Picasso’s quote.

After we have established the idea that the problem is mainly with how to preserve and enhance our creativity as we grow up, let us consider the bi-products of learning creativity at a young age. If we are to compare our confidence level regarding skills and beliefs that we have learned since we were kids as opposed to those that we learn at an elder age, would it be the same. I guess the answer would be no for most of us. This is mainly due to the fact that all our actions are driven by our feelings that are originated from a deeper drive that is our thoughts; the spring of these thoughts is our core beliefs. These core beliefs are what we learn, process and comprehend at very young ages through situations that we go through or things that we are taught by elders who we blindly trust and take their words for granted. Getting back to my point, a person who is acting creatively based on a core belief that he/she is a creative person and has the ability to think creatively and that belief is very well established in him/her since a very young age. This will definitely affect ones confident

In the second quote by Van Gogh, he outlined a solution for the idea killers, whether they were actual persons or even just thoughts within us. The best solution to deal with these idea killers according to Van Gogh is to proceed and move on with what we want to do, whether it was a thought, dream or even the simple action of painting. If were able to silence these voices in our life we will have a clearer mind that is focused on the “creative” idea that we have and thus be able to gain more confidence in it.