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Origami woes

I'm to the point where I can make just about anything if I have diagrams for it, and I can make a lot of things given a crease pattern and a lot of time. But when it comes to making up my own stuff, I still without exception fail horribly. There are two or three things I've either never seen an origami version of, or don't have the diagrams for, that I'd love to make on my own. But I can't even seem to scratch the surface in starting to make them. Oh how I've tried.

My 12th grade calculus teacher said that you can't teach someone creativity, and there are certain things that you either get or you don't. I'm not sure if I buy that. If there are rules that govern something, if there's any kind of pattern that says "if X applies here it also applies over there", then you can learn it and use it in the future. But I have a fear that there are certain things where there are no rules. Creativity may be loosely defined as venturing into territory where the rules are not yet known and no one has ever been before. Consistently being creative means consistently moving through territory where the rules are unknown, which is rather functionally equivalent to living in a world where there are no rules. Which is probably my worst nightmare.

But my goal isn't to forge new mathematical systems. There are thousands of years of tradition here and in the past hundred years there's been tons of formal mathematical progress. All I want is to tweak things that I and other people already know and end up with a bit of a different result. It's not 100% creativity. In fact it's mostly not at all. So I have hope that no matter how bad I am at it, I can learn this. Assuming that "creativity can't be learned" is at all valid in the first place.

October 21, 2006 @ 3:52 PM PDT
Cateogory: Art
Tags: Origami, Rant


Quoth liam on January 14, 2007 @ 7:31 AM PST

yes. welcome to the postmodern dilemma. this is the argument that there is no longer any pure original position, only the re-reading of what has come before. this is still creativity. it is the only way forward, the only way to be truly honest with ourselves and respectful of the past... much potential awaits... Love you

Quoth liam on January 14, 2007 @ 7:35 AM PST

oh, and by the way, you havent found a more simple tiger diagram anywhere have you?

Quoth Brian on January 15, 2007 @ 3:21 AM PST

John Montroll has a tiger. Picture here:

You could argue that there are still original positions, but they're harder to find. Or more radical / drastic. I think I agree though that coming up with something yourself is creativity even if someone independently came up with the same thing before you did.