Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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Nedra Weinreich

This makes me think of the concept from the book "Made to Stick" of "The Curse of Knowledge." Having an in-depth knowledge of a subject makes it harder to explain it clearly to someone who is completely new to the field. It's harder to know what facts are extraneous to comprehension of the core idea and to communicate without making assumptions about what the other person knows. When we work day in and day out on an issue, it's easy to fall into jargon or talk at a level that's higher than where our audience is at.

David Armano

I think I may have shared this with you—but one of the things I always encourage designers to do is to not have any reference materials lying around when they are actually engaged in designing. If they do, they tend to copy. If they put it away, they'll "forget" what they were looking at and be more likely to "invent" something based of off what they vaguely remember.

I like the term Forgettery. Ironically, it's easy to remember.

Roger von Oech

Nedra: Nice take. I sure wish it would be easy to switch into "beginner's mind" whenever I had the whim.

David: Thanks for the tip; well worth remembering!


(on my first try this comment posted to The Water Model.. for some reason... so here is another try to get into "Forgettery")

the way this concept was presented to me a few months ago went something like:

"the advantage of knowing nothing, is the possibility of knowing everything"

another version goes:

"the advantage of believing in nothing, is the possibility of believing in everything"

what we are talking about is a mental zero point of "no opinion"... the empty space through which "creative thought" or "inspiration" can come

a place of uncertainty-about, rather than certainty-about... a place where the question lingers, without any pre-accepted answer being present

Shakespeare's Fool

On why forgetting your native language helps you when immersed in learning a new language:

GHOST:Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me.


O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!

What troubles Hamlet would have avoided had he used his Forgettery instead!

serdar saban


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