On the radio today (I listened while doing other things, so I might have gotten some things wrong) they talked about Bob Hope, who passed away yesterday, and how he had, when he did radio shows, a team of writers that sat and wrote jokes all day. Then they did a 90 minute (that seems long, but I think it’s accurate) rehearsal with an audience, testing the jokes, after which they did the actual show (perhaps an hour long, or so; was this when everything on radio was live?). The show was probably aired weekly.

Creating jokes is a very good example of creativity, as the only jokes that are successful are those that are new (in some regard; you can tell old jokes in new ways). Also, it’s very difficult to know what works; you need to generate lots of them and then select the ones that are funny.

There’s always selection in creativity. I’ve thought about this regarding photography. Some photographers can visualize an idea, set it up and shoot it, while others have to shoot lots and lots of pictures, and then select the good ones. You can’t say that either way is better; they’re just different: the selection takes place at different times.

The above was posted to my personal weblog on July 29, 2003. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.


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