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.”

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About Dani Trusca

Life-Artist, Thinker, Mover (Traceur)

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