Do schools kill creativity?
But now kids with degrees are often heading home to carry on playing video games, because you need an MA where the previous job required a BA, and now you need a PhD for the other. It’s a process of academic inflation. And it indicates the whole structure of education is shifting beneath our feet. We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence.
We know three things about intelligence. One, it’s diverse. We think about the world in all the ways that we experience it. We think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms, we think in movement. Secondly, intelligence is dynamic. If you look at the interactions of a human brain, as we heard yesterday from a number of presentations, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. The brain isn’t divided into compartments. In fact, creativity – which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value – more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things.
The radical promise of the multi-touch interface
Now, this is a rear-projected drafting table. It’s about 36 inches wide and it’s equipped with a multi-touch sensor. Normal touch sensors that you see, like on a kiosk or interactive whiteboards, can only register one point of contact at a time. This thing allows you to have multiple points at the same time. They can use both my hands; I can use chording actions; I can just go right up and use all 10 fingers if I wanted to.
Now, multi-touch sensing isn’t completely new. People like Bill Buxton have been playing around with it in the ’80s. However, the approach I built here is actually high-resolution, low-cost, and probably most importantly, very scalable. So, the technology, you know, isn’t the most exciting thing here right now, other than probably its newfound accessibility.
So, for instance, we have a lava lamp application here. Now, you can see, I can use both of my hands to kind of squeeze and put the blobs together. I can inject heat into the system here, or I can pull it apart with two of my fingers. It’s completely intuitive; there’s no instruction manual.