New adventures with a television – part 2.

I wrote earlier this week about getting a TV for the first time in 13 years. It reminds me of when I took my first flight in seven years. Things have changed but there isn’t an instruction manual for the uninitiated.

When you are in a system it is hard to see it change, but when you step out and return, the changes are much more obvious. Television watching now:

  • Involves many more controllers
  • Is much more expensive with the subscription services
  • Involves a bewildering amount of choice.
  • Is now on demand meaning you can watch anything at any time.

Nobody we asked seemed to know if we could just have a TV with a few channels. If you type into a search engine how do I watch BBC1 on a television, the top result is how to watch BBC1 via the iPlayer on your television.

But I am happy to say we have, as far as I can see, the simplest set-up possible in the modern world: a TV plugged into an aerial that shows the free view terrestrial channels, and that’s it. No internet streaming subscriptions, no catch-up (no VHS!).

It means that if we want to watch something, we have to watch it at the time that it is on. A rediscovered pleasure is looking at the listing in the newspaper. If there is a clash, we have to negotiate. It’s the return of appointment TV, and I’m loving it.

Of course, Disney Plus is very popular these days but we’ve been experimenting with just getting Disney DVDs from the library. I call it Disney Minus, and it’s much cheaper. Actually we do have a subscription service – it’s called the BBC, and as far as I am concerned is the best value-for-money service out there.

Right, got to run, there is a 75 year anniversary screening of Brief Encounter starting in a few minutes.

What’s the least effective thing I can do to tackle the climate crisis?

I am grateful to the participant in this morning’s climate coaching call who reminded me of the power of asking the opposite question to the one you are trying to answer. Instead of asking what’s the most effective thing he could to tackle the climate crisis, he asked what’s the least he could do. Sometimes it is much easier to define what we shouldn’t be doing than what we should. But from this point of opposition we can get some clues about what we should in fact be doing.

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Asking someone instead of Googling

What if you couldn’t look stuff up online? This is a question I keep returning to. One answer is that other people might become a more important source of information. You’d need to pay more attention. You’d probably look forward to the opportunity to speak to them more. And you’d remember more about what they said.

The premise makes me think of books set in a time before tv and radio (let alone internet) when the arrival of a new visitor in the house represented the chance to mine a new seam of experience. 

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New adventures with a television – part 1.

Television, television television. Say it a few times in a row and it sounds a bit futuristic, of science fiction even. The ability to capture moving images and transmit them over space is incredible. Having not had a TV in the house for thirteen years I have been enjoying rediscovering this most twentieth century of media formats, and discovering, rather than futuristic, how out-of-date my expectations of the format are.

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Brief explosion – starting a creative project

My starting point for gathering inputs to a creative project is the working brief. The technique that I use with participants in my workshops is what I call the ‘brief explosion’, the first stage in the process of ‘Filling the Kalideacope’. It’s an explosion because from just a few brief words you can generate so many inputs.

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Curating information for creativity

In this third video in my series on creative thinking, I go into the concept of curating inputs to the creative process. The combination of our brain and body makes for an awesomely powerful creative machine. We can use our bodies to explore and gather a wide range of inputs and then we can use our arms and fingers to manipulate and rearrange elements within our wide field of vision, and yet much of our creative work is blinkered by computer screens, or worse reduced to the width of a phone. In this video I ask viewers to think about how they can arrange their creative inputs to make full use of their creative faculties.

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