Creativity (was Re: virus: Is there room for mysticism?)

David McFadzean (
Sat, 06 Jan 1996 13:28:45 -0700

At 05:34 PM 05/01/96 -0800, Twirlip of Greymist wrote:

>The biggest flaw I (as a materialist-reductionist-atomist blah blah)
>of logic I acknowledge is that it bites creatively. The descriptions I

Though I agree with this statement, I think it is important to realize
that this doesn't mean that creativity isn't amenable to logical
analysis, artists' objections notwithstanding. I believe this is
what Douglas Hofstadter and his students have been working on the last
few years; has anyone read his latest book?

By now, no-one will be surprised if I suggest that creativity is
essentially an evolutionary process, i.e. an interaction between
the variation and selection of new ideas. Logic certainly has a
large role in the latter process but it is less clear if it is
needed for variation. I think it is obvious that the new variants
are not logical deductions of existing ideas, but there are other
algorithmic operators (inspired by biological genetics) that may be
used: point mutations, sequence reversals, and especially crossover.

For instance the music I'm listening to as I type this is a CD called
Synaesthetic by a band called A Positive Life. It can be classified
as technorganic or ambient techno, and as the name suggests it is
sort of a crossover of ambient (with roots in bands like Brian Eno
and Tangerine Dream) and techno (which has roots in hip hop and

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Merak Projects Ltd.