Monday, 24 August 2015

Deck of cards

One of the things I'm wiggling round inconsequentially like a loose tooth in the back of my head at the moment is a set of notes and checklists on the general theme of "doing stuff" aimed at somebody without the scars of experience who's got that rabbit-trapped-in-headlights feeling about a piece of work. It would be a hotch-potch of things I've learned over the years at work, things I wish I'd known before I'd done some pieces of work and things I've watched and marvelled as other people worked their magic. Essentially, a basic, interdisciplinary toolkit for somebody struggling to know where to begin.

Thinking about that "trapped" feeling where you can't see where to go next, or the only way is somewhere you don't want to go — particularly creative block and group-think — it occurred to me that there ought to be some tool that could help. Something a bit more proactive than "go and do something else for half an hour" that could combine displacement, suggestion and challenge. And it turns out that there is: the original out-of-the-box thinking. The usefulness of tools like Oblique Strategies and Distant Early Warning isn't in the apparent power of divination so much as the introduction of a random variable that disrupts the state of thought. I'll certainly have a play with that idea.

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