Sunday, July 27, 2008

Robert Schank's Maxims

Came across these gems sometime ago. Robert turns all that we believed in so far on the head! I love the last one best! :) And it is, oddly, the 11th maxim. Hmm.

1. Look for anomalies. Anomalies are where the action is, creatively speaking.

2. Listen. You can't find anomalies if you weren't paying attention to what was going on in the first place.

3. Find data. Before you make a theory, look to the world around you, ask yourself what is happening. The more you know the more you can create.

4. Classify, and invent new classifications. Their real value is the generalization they capture.

5. Make rash generalizations. The idea behind making rash generalizations is not to be right, but to be thinking.

6. Explain. When we learn something, it's because we have invented an explanation for it. We have explained it to ourselves.

7. Refuse to learn the rules. You must pick your spots for rebellion, be sure that you have reason on your side, and be prepared to take the consequences.

8. Reject old explanations. Ask why. [Authorities tell us to simple explanations to complex issues] . . . it is important to learn to distrust these explanations, not because someone is trying to fool you, but because the standard wisdom might be wrong.

9. Let your mind wander. . . . the process of letting your mind go where it wants can be useful if where it wants turns out to be an interesting place to go.... If you don't give your mind a little freedom every now and a again, it may stop wandering.

10. Fail early and fail often. Failure is a good thing. We learn from failure. Take a chance. Have an idea and allow the possibility that it might be a bad idea.

11. Reject all the above maxims. Who says I know what I'm talking about. Can we really enhance our creativity? That's a good question.

Monday, July 21, 2008


We're all a little wierd. And life's a little wierd. 
And when we find someone who's wierdness is compatible to ours,
we join up with them
and fall into a mutually satisfying wierdness
and call it love, true love.
I think I could do with a different shade. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

All pent up!

I really should be reading more. I have this feeling of insatiability and unless I grab each and every reading opportunity that comes my way, I’ll miss that important pulse. Of course, my groaning bookshelf and my heart know otherwise. I have enough to just sit back and absorb it all. But somehow it seems to me that every minute, every second is fleeting by, every grain of sand is shifting down and my time will be up. I think I can do with an uninhabited island and live there for a couple of years, only reading...right about NOW. And I want to write.

I love to suck the honey out of every precious experience. I still have a voracious appetite for stories, and to me an experience is just that. It doesn’t matter what happened, I will remember it differently, several twilights later. I want to do something that involves, engages, and completely instigates every one of my faculties. I can’t understand or explain this urgency. All this pent-up ‘get-up and go’ is knotted in my veins and tires me beyond exhaustion.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I think it is a tragic reality of life – that we cannot listen to a person with an open heart, with belief, and assumption of the truth. On the other hand, a lifetime of experiences of feeling let down in various degrees has hardened me up...and now!

There are people who will talk to please and to keep appearances. Of course, I get angry that I should be such a sucker a lot of times, but again, it’s not their fault. They do their best in a given situation...make hay..... And WHY do I have to be such a sucker anyway? This refusal of mine to see this daylight of truth.....this abject refusal to see things for what they are....sheesh!. Why can’t I learn that there are people who will talk only what they feel I like to hear? Why can’t I learn something that is so fundamentally simple? I mean, if I can learn to reverse and park a vehicle in the tightest of spots, surely there must be some iota of intelligence in my dull head that gets it.

It took me a time to realise that I needed to stay on guarded and not succumb so easily to sweet talk. But…this balancing things out took a lot of time. I now understand that you must choose reserve in some situations with some people, and absolutely trust with some others. I am sure I'll be reaaalllly tested on this one..there will be a time of reckoning. But I am not worried. I know I will get through this too.