Sunday, February 26, 2006

The superlative's superlative

As I go about my daily business I like to nurture a creative attitude - I'll spot problems, ask 'What if?' and be aware of the here-and-now. With such an array of creative techniques available to help think creatively it's possible to suffer from a kind of 'option blindness' -- or paralysis by analysis, like the centipede that doesn't know which leg to move next. The superlative's superlative is a great entry point for creativity and a simple way to set a creative challenge and get the thoughts rolling.


Aware of the here-and-now I'll consider an object near me or an action I'm doing at the time. With an object, I consider how I could make that object or action into the superlative/ultimate form. So if I was opening a door I could set the challenge in the format:

Make the door the door-est door.

This can be provoke many questions and lead me to consider what the ultimate door (the door-est door) would be like and how it would be defined...

The greatest door? The most efficient door? The largest door? The door that can be used 24/7? The door that can be used by the most people? The most famous door? The door most universally recognised as a door? A door that recognises people who shouldn't use the door and thus automatically locks itself? If I choose one of these possibilities (say, the most efficient door) I can consider how I would go about realising that goal.


I can also use the technique for actions. So if I'm in discussion with someone I can set a challenge in the format:

Make the discussion the discussion-est discussion.

If a discussion was the ultimate, perfect discussion what would it be like? Super efficient? Super problem-solving? Super honest and free from hidden-agendas?

See also: Fiction: a quick way to make up interesting characters

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