Generating Generators

There’s an algorithm for generating systematizing creativity that I like to describe as to carefully watch a brilliant mind generate creative ideas, and then to 1. through seeing patterns and similarities among the generated ideas, categorize them and 2. create categories for the thought processes or mental motions that generated the ideas.

Those are two generators of generators. What else exists? (Note, these are general enough to be meta-generators)

  1. Categorize ideas using some pattern or notion of similarity. Use the examples to install the pattern, and look for the pattern elsewhere.
  2. Decompose a given pattern, seeing its variants, properties and types. Explicitly try to turn the pattern itself into a generator, as well as all of its decomposed variants.
  3. Recombine your generators with one another
    • Ex., what is the most general version of recombination?
    • If I look at differing types of recombination, how do they differ? In the process, in the inputs, in the outputs?
  4. Read creative authors, subject them to a deep analysis of their conceptual style.
  5. Listen abstractively to people speaking. Name / categorize the mental motions that lead to creative ideas.
  6. Gather powerful solutions to important problems. Ask how / why they work. Turn their source of strength into a property of solutions / ideas that its worth incorporating or founding new solutions on. (Ex., data structures as re-representation / abstraction)
  7. Watch your own thought, especially when you’ve solved something or generated something new. Ask after the prompts that lead to that path of thought.
  8. List the most powerful ideas.
    • Ask, how could I have come up with this, or seen this pattern for the first time?
    • Ask, how can I see this pattern more often when it comes up, and how does that process of pattern recognition work?
    • Often, by seeing many examples of a pattern, you mind starts to pick it up much more easily. So to see patterns that others haven’t seen, look at data that others haven’t looked at.
  9. Learn to see the incompleteness of things (frameworks, conceptual schemes, say checking for collective exhaustiveness, or searching for datapoints that don’t fit) and complete them (or rework the ontology entirely)
    • Apply this to systematizing creativity, taking creative ideas that can’t be explained as a call to enlargen the technical toolset, or make existing techniques more flexible
  10. Create your own concepts, elucidate them in some detail, name them, and then see what patterns exist in your concept creation.
    • This is general to all creative work. Start creating, and watch yourself closely.