I once worked for someone who was well known for saying that the last thing he wanted on his staff was a "creative" software developer. I think he equated creative with undisciplined. I equate creative with innovative and skilled.
I'm sure that my web site looks very much like other Weebly web sites in structure if not in content. How could it not? The building tools constrain what I am able to do. On the other hand, I once built 3 web sites over the course of one night when insomnia was nagging at me and my bipolar disorder had me in a manic episode. Twenty years ago, the only way to build a web page (we didn't so much talk about sites then) was to write hundreds or thousands of lines of html, upload to the web server, check it out, and begin endless repetitions of debugging and altering. Yes. We could all do it. But few thought it was really fun. It was comparable to writing in assembly language (which we all did 20 years prior to that) and we were all simply delighted when it worked (picture Tom Hanks dancing around his first fire in Castaway). So if progress in software development means better systems more quickly with less need for digging into the guts of the process, then these web site building tools are indeed progress.
But at what cost? Where is the innovation? Where is the creativity?
I admit at this point that I haven't looked into the literature in some time. But, has anyone studied the effects of these tools on creativity?
The academic communities of computer science, specifically software engineering, and psychology (specifically creative cognition) have a great opportunity here to study the effects of this relatively new type of software reuse on innovation in software engineering. Remember, within subjects design with counterbalancing to offset presentation order effects! (Because people are different but they all learn.)
As for my limited anecdotal evidence, I think I make up for in speed of build and reliability of end product what I lose in innovation. And I do check out those new components that come available so perhaps that's where the innovation lies.
My Texas Project was a much bigger undertaking and I worked on if off and on for months. It is less organized and has a much greater variety of found objects including a miniature Coleman Lantern which works if it has the right watch battery; a Mexican Peso, an aluminum coupon coin from Dairy Queen that must date back to the 60s, and a cowboy on bucking horse Monopoly piece.
First was a tall tropical looking lamp without a shade and a pile of plastic dinosaurs. Later, a tired shade and some camo fabric caused me to search for some special fringe. Then I cobbled together a very special finial that is really dramatic when the room lights are out and the lamp is on. ROAR!!!
If you wanted to fish the jewelry out of the jar, it too could still be worn.
I did, however, have to drill a rather large hole in the lid of the gallon jar... Oh Well!
Never look back, Darling.
It distracts from the NOW.
This summer I have embarked on a project to improve the view from the kitchen window. This window is the only view from the kitchen and is situated at one end of the kitchen table where we take all of our meals and engage in a variety of other family activities.
Previously, it had only a view of a nicely paved patio and the stark white wall of Dad's workshop. As the area received plentiful direct sunshine for about 6 hours a day and was located in a place where we might actually remember to water any plants that needed such attention, this unused space was clearly an opportunity knocking.
I've talked about bits and pieces of this project in other posts. Here, I will recap the entire project to date.
My first new plant is what we call here Jimson Weed. Called Loco Weed in the old cowboy movies. Called Datura scientifically. And the root is an important part of some Native American rituals such as vision quests. I have one plant that I hope will do well here. Some grow wild in this area, so I have reason to be hopeful.
My second new plant I'm starting form seed. I don't have a history of success with seeds but I am trying this as I could not find a live plant. Here, it's called Devil's Claw because of the seed pods. Turns out that some people believe the root is useful in treating some illnesses. (hmmm I won't go into the number of studies that have shown that holistic medicine is totally ineffective.) Anyway, this medicinal use made finding a live plant difficult as they are, for some reason, considered rare. When I was growing up, they were just there. Mom remembers the same. So, my hope is to grow a few and dry a few seed pods.
A few more plants are on the way. I'll let you know when I get them planted.
In the meanwhile, sitting at the kitchen table and looking out the window is much more pleasant than it once was. And I consider this project a success.
For old techies, the fun is in recognizing references to the 8080 chip and programming in ALC while seeing a phone on the wall with a curly cord to the hand set. For the guys, the fun might be in seeing Kirstie Alley play the femme fatale. Of course, for the gals, there's Tom Selleck.
Otherwise, it's a typical Michael Crichton (RIP) story line about the dangers of science and technology. I enjoyed but probably won't watch again.
A Dog's Purpose
The Arrival of Wang
The Dog Lover
Year of the Pig
French Onion Soup
Finally At Last
Happily Never After
Thru Kitchen Window
Skeleton in Closet
410 Pounds of QuikRete
Desire and Love
Bird Feeder of Dreams
Tribal Bugs n Leaves
Curly & TheGreenPoodle
My Funny Life
The Ranch (NetFlix)
TV ... Upcycling
Lost In Space
The Toys that Made Us
The Spy Next Door
A Wrinkle in Time