For the open eyed, there is an opportunity here; when asked how he would prepare for a match against a computer, Dutch chess master Yann Hein Donner said; I would bring a hammer.
When faced with set patterns of behaviour in ourselves or in systems sometimes we have to do something radical to make a change. The way that things are now developing when there is less and less flexibility we need to do this.
There is a test which asks how many uses can you find for a paper clip? When children are asked this question they can come out with many more than an adult. I would postulate that education reduces the creative aspect of the mind because it becomes a paperclip and not just a piece of wire.
In music we can see this in the way that complexity will lessen possibility for example if I play one chord that chord can be in several keys but as soon as I play another the number of keys available will become fewer because we start to categorise the first chord.
Society has become the adult with reduced capacity to think and this in the words of my father talking about the highly educated, ‘needing a slide rule to cross the road’, today a satnav or an iPhone would be the instrument of choice. As a side effect of learning we discard the things that seem not to fit and therefore start to limit what is possible. What we discard may exist or be possible because we just have not seen it before like Taleb’s Black Swans.
Dealing with computers either overtly or not you can feel their presence in everything we do from the letter from the doctor, to the radio play list, to the way our lives are managed. So the limiting categorisation is happening to us by an algorithm.
For the musician we need to use computers but not be used by them, the world is full of lifeless stuff created by computers; we need to make sure that when we make a pact with the devil we have an exit strategy which keeps our soul intact. For that we need to rely on what is left of our humanness and I mean that in the very deepest and broadest of terms, that which engages us with our nature and by extension nature herself. So use ones passions from both ends of the spectrum to really charge up our creative juices because it is that that makes our creations interesting and compelling not some watered down sanitised version of what we have become.
Technology will destroy that which makes us what we are if we are not careful, we are already corralled by the technology and it is beginning to suck the creativity out of us. What we need is to be able to problem solve without the use of computers and then regain some form of control and then from that point we can engage with the technology on our terms. But faced with technology being used on us then I suggest we do what our ancestors would have done to the dominating force which was trying to take their souls beat the shit out of it with a hammer. All hail to Thor.
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