creative people “to be independent, nonconformist, unconventional, even bohemian, and . . . to have wide interests, greater openness to new experiences, a more conspicuous behavioral and cognitive flexibility, and more risk-taking boldness.”2 Part of the answer is behavioral, including the extent to which deliberation and skill are involved. Deliberation involves making choices about things that matter. “Fasting,” Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has famously written, “is not the same thing as being forced to starve. Having the option of eating makes fasting what it is: choosing not to eat when one could have eaten.”3 Other factors relate to context, such as the nature of one’s experiences, notably “(a) diversifying experiences that help weaken the constraints imposed by conventional socialization and (b) challenging experiences that help strengthen a person’s capacity to persevere in the face of obstacles”4—both of which are characteristic of an emergent field in general and ITCP in particular. Interestingly, a factor in achieving diversifying and challenging experiences may be cultural diversity; there is evidence that exposing a culture to alien influences and experiencing marginality or even dissent are correlated with creativity.5 More generally, the start of a creative act is the escape from one range of assumptions—a context—often with the aid of another context seemingly at odds with the first but that provides a new way of viewing what we already thought we understood. The arts do this for IT, and IT does this for the arts.6

Creativity can be linked to tools, which have been a constant factor in the arts as well as in science and engineering. Because ITCP is defined with reference to a set of tools—IT—it calls for an understanding of creativity as human complements to digital capabilities: the opportunity, knowledge, and skill to make disciplined judgments about how and when to use or not use those capabilities. Although novices can now enter many fields through interfaces—provided by software packages—that encapsulate and parameterize aspects of specialized trades and crafts that previously took lifetimes to learn, learning to use a tool does not of itself make one a skilled practitioner.

There is a difference between basic functional know-how (e.g., knowing a few words of a foreign language) and higher-level skill, or

2  

Simonton, 2000, “Creativity,” p. 153.

3  

Amartya Sen, 1999, Development as Freedom, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, p. 75. The committee is indebted to Mansell (2001) and Garnham (1997) for their readings of Sen in terms of communication and media policy. See Robin Mansell, 2001, “New Media and the Power of Networks,” First Dixons Public Lecture, London, October 23, available online at <http://www.lse.ac.uk/Depts/Media/rmlecture.pdf>; and Nicholas Garnham, 1997, “Amartya Sen’s ‘Capabilities’ Approach to the Evaluation of Welfare: Its Application to Communications,” Javnost-The Public 4(4): 25-34.

4  

Simonton, 2000, “Creativity,” p. 153.

5  

Simonton, 2000, “Creativity,” p. 155.

6  

Allucquère Rosanne Stone, in The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1995), describes how technology can provide prostheses, expanding and enhancing one’s interaction with the world.



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