In praise of randomness

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I love randomness.”

“You mean as a creative tool?”

“That’s one aspect of it.

Randomness can stimulate Creativity, by sparking Inspiration and generating (Creative) Movement when stuck.

Two of my favorite creative tools are random paired quotes [<link; medium length] and the Oracle [<link; medium].

Randomness can also create Variability.

“What is Variability?”

“By Variability I mean an outcome that changes every time, which can produce a variety of experiences. 

Card games are a good example of this. By changing the order of the cards every game (shuffling), it ensures that no two games are the same.
Or take a list of quotes. By changing their order (shuffling), the sequence in which you read them changes, which can make you discover surprising connections between ideas (serendipity).

Randomness can be a source of surprise and joy.

“If the surprise is pleasant.”

“You can increase the likelihood of getting a pleasant surprise through controlled randomness, by fiddling with the parameters of randomization. You can thus ‘engineer serendipity’, to quote Jason Silva.

If you generate a random Wikipedia article, the likelihood of discovering something of interest is very small.
If you generate a random Wikipedia article from one or more categories of interest, the likelihood increases significantly.

There’s joy in discovery, but there’s also joy in rediscovery.

We encounter a lot of beautiful ideas throughout our life. We might even choose to collect them all in a commonplace book [<link; medium length]. The problem is, as their number grows, they become more and more inaccessible. Randomness is a means to constantly rediscover those gems from the past. In this process, they might even increase in value, as randomness creates the opportunity to connect them with other beautiful ideas.”


About Dani Trusca

Life-Artist, Thinker, Mover (Traceur)

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