July 7, 2010

Sometimes Garbage In = Interesting Results

Image (c) Robby Michie

In the world of computing, the old saw goes, “Garbage In, Garbage Out,” or GIGO. Mind you, that’s consistently true for most programs and machines. After all, machines are built to perform specific functions in useful ways. A computer probably wouldn’t be very useful if you gave it a task to do expecting one sort of result but receiving another.

Or would it?

One powerful aspect of creative mind is its ability to make meaningful connections between disparate things. That’s called synectics, in case you were wondering, and it’s something computers cannot do.

Getting Geeky

But I can use a computer to randomize a set of inputs and present certain outputs to me that I can use to synectically create combinations and make crazy jumps into ideas and intuitions that might not otherwise occur to me.

I suppose that’s more “Mikey’s Mixed Bag In = Potentially Cool Things Out” rather than GIGO, but so what?

Here’s something potentially stimulating you can do with semi-sorta-randomized inputs: Grab your digital camera and go out exploring. Take pictures at a whim. Don’t think — snap. Turn off your camera’s auto-focus feature if you can to get some messier shots.

50 Pictures + Your Words = Unlimited Story Combinations

Shoot about 50 pictures. Go home and print the pictures, then cut them up and lay them out in any order you like. Sure, you could create a collage… but why not get your Imp on and make up a story using captions for each image. Once you’ve done that, rearrange them and do it again.

Be amazed at how your mind works. And say thanks to the little computer inside your camera for helping you kick your creativity up a few notches.

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