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Taxonomy of Methods
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Sector One
Based on resources within the problem solver, and generally techniques through which to bring subtle perceptions conscious

 
A.   Particular ways to solve particular problems — ways to extend or leverage perception and/or to see beyond the in-built, reflexive internal censor, "editor," or inhibitive judgmental factor:

    1.   Some of these particular methods are based upon speed. Go faster than judgment. Judgment plods, and can't keep up with your running beyond judgment to see fresh perceptions in full view. Examples:

      a.   "Brainstorming," whose effectiveness is a function of how rapidly one can force a series of multiple responses within a context.

      (Previously, "brainstorming's" effectiveness was thought to be a matter of "suspending judgment." However, the difficulty of truly suspending one's own judgment, and the higher effectiveness of "brainstorming" with smaller groups where each participant is forced into a more rapid series of responses, demonstrate that speed is the main basis for effectiveness here.)

      b.   Other rapid-flow expressive procedures, such as rapid-flow free-association techniques, rapid-flow methods for describing ongoing phenomena, "Improvitaping" in music (a technique given to you freely in Winsights No. 13 and "doodle build-up" in art; many other procedures which force a sustained rapid flow of expressive multiple responses.

      c.   Forced fast-answer, fast response techniques a la flashcard or tachistoscope.

    2.   Disengaging judgment (if not entirely suspending it as in parenthetical note under 1.a. above). Trust that good answers will emerge if one just keeps pumping away with responses without paying too much attention to judgment until afterward. Some other judgment-disengaging techniques have been practiced by creative geniuses throughout history, from long before there emerged the present deliberate art and science of creativity:

      a.   "Sleep on it," incubation, dreaming, various techniques for relaxing, for distracting, or displacing judgmental attention.

      b.   Psychological techniques for changing values behind the judgmental process.

      c.   Suspend bases for judging — take advantage of differing levels of sensitivity in brain and mind functions to "conceal questions" from the loud conscious, verbal-focused, judgmental mind until subtler responses have been read from the visualizing unconscious mind in answer, or from physiological responses of the body as monitored by EMG, polygraph, Whetstone Bridge, PSE, EEG, SGR or other biofeedback-type equipment.

    3.   Transfer the terms of the problem to a non-judgmental medium. This usually means some form of work with analogy and/or in artistic self-expression.

      a.   Einsteinian "mind-game," as featured in Parnes's Visionizing, in many of the Project Renaissance procedures, or — as in Synectics — to "make the strange familiar and the familiar strange."

      b.   Describe sensory or imagined sensory experience, usually rapid-flow (see 1. above), in a contextual "neutral zone warm-up" such as the garden in Over-the-Wall, while beyond a barrier of some sort rests the answer-space. Surprise! — at the contents of the answer space — is seen as indicator that fresh input has been discovered from beyond where we do our conscious thinking, judgmental censoring, and mulling-over of what we "know." (See the complete Over-the-Wall script of instructions under CPS Techniques.

      c.   Psychological (mainly Psychosynthesis, Psychegenics, and Borrowed Genius procedures from Project Renaissance) methods to externalize the seeming source of the information to beyond oneself, and thus from beyond the seat of the internal inhibitory judge. Van Oech's use of roles or "hats" fits here and, in view of a parallel dynamic for accelerated learning in Suggestopedia, might well be expanded upon to greater effect.

    4.   Methods to force a way past the Censor:

      a.   Random forced relationships for fresh perspective and generation of ideas, as in deBono's Provocative Operation (P.O.) relating random dictionary words to the problem in search of possible solutions.

      b.   By some form of formula process — stochastics, Edisonian "process of elimination," "scientific method," some elements of Synectics and of modern Osborn-Parnes method as per Creative Education Foundation, etc., quantification routines.

      c.   By pursuing formula theory:  prediction and testing (as per "scientific method," above); inductive and deductive reasoning from formulas ranging from rigidly fixed ideas to various social and behavioral theories; physics and math. In this category we found it instructive in issues of social concern to introduce incentive theory as an analytic and solution-generating system, together with equilibrium theory and general systems theory (as per Win/Win-Finder in the CPS Techniques section. Long-lasting major societal problems are a complexly homeostatic, equilibrated system:  Analyze the incentives acting upon those who affect or who could affect the problem; solve(?) the problem by modifying some of those incentives to redefine equilibrium.

      d.   Categorizing and sorting — most effective if this is done rapidly and in various quickly recorded forms, to capture some of the same dynamics as brainstorming. Tony Buzan's Mind-Mapping technique derived in part from systems analysis (which also serves as a way to force relationships to generate ideas — see 4.c. just above). This draft taxonomy itself is partially an example.

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B.   Ways to generally nurture a high state of personal creativity:
    1.   Especially important — exercise and build observational skills. The "serendipity" discussions in creativity-related literature are in substantial error. Everyone, sooner or later and often, is "in the right place at the right time," but as Churchill observed. most walk away from it. Only those who practice observation and/or are observant, generally, will notice and make the discovery. The rest of us trudge numbly on and wonder why life passed us by.

      a.   Nurture practices and environments associated with high creativity. These were categorized extensively by Dr. John Curtis Gowan (Trance, Art and Creativity, Buffalo, NY: Creative Education Foundation, 1957). Bring such an environment with you by carrying around and constantly using notepad or pocket recorder. Create an aesthetically rewarding "special haven" to work in. Meditate or frequently resort to art.

      b.   Reinforce creative and solution-finding behavior — in yourself; mutually among friends, associates or co-workers; in groups.

      c.   Clean "noise" or disorder from internal "channels." Blow them away in intense work-bursts, or drain them away by meditation, the arts, breathing methods, gardening, various other "incubation" techniques.

      d.   Improve attitudes, especially self-esteem.

      e.   Sustain or build physical health and stamina to see matters through to an implemented solution.

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