Creativity

For us mathematicians, it is very important to understand the situations that encourage our creativity. It is always interesting to see how people working in other disciplines do it.

In the Guardian a week and a half ago, there was a short item about Neil Gaiman, surely one of the most creative people around. He has just announced he will take a holiday of at least six months from social media next year. The problem, he says, is not the amount of time spent using social media; it’s the way it spreads into every cranny of our existence.

People ask me where I get my ideas from, and the answer is that the best way to come up with new ideas is to get really bored.

Watching school plays is ideal. You have to sit there for hours and you can’t read or use a phone or check something on the web. I’ll come out afterwards thinking: “Did I just plot out an episode of Dr Who there? I think I did.”

Not so different, then, from proving a theorem while sitting in the back of a boring lecture …

Advertisements

About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
This entry was posted in doing mathematics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Creativity

  1. Jon Awbrey says:

    Shades of Mr. Tompkins …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s