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Creativity and/or Alertness — the Value of Diversity in Science, Art, and Business

Summary:
I regularly listen to NPR's Hidden Brain podcast.  A recent episode explores the value of diversity in background and in perspective for progress in science, for artistic expression, and business innovation. Listening to the episode I was obviously drawn to thinking about the work of Joseph Schumpeter and Israel Kirzner, but it also made me remember some of the brilliant work my colleague Tyler Cowen did in the the field of cultural innovation with his books In Praise of Commercial Culture and Creative Destruction. Tyler is so prolific and his work is so varied ranging from social choice theory to business cycle theory to philosophy that it is easy to forget that he also produced a deep dive ethnographic work on cultural products with Markets and Cultural Voices. But he did, and for

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I regularly listen to NPR's Hidden Brain podcast.  A recent episode explores the value of diversity in background and in perspective for progress in science, for artistic expression, and business innovation.

Listening to the episode I was obviously drawn to thinking about the work of Joseph Schumpeter and Israel Kirzner, but it also made me remember some of the brilliant work my colleague Tyler Cowen did in the the field of cultural innovation with his books In Praise of Commercial Culture and Creative Destruction. Tyler is so prolific and his work is so varied ranging from social choice theory to business cycle theory to philosophy that it is easy to forget that he also produced a deep dive ethnographic work on cultural products with Markets and Cultural Voices. But he did, and for those who read these works, they are intellectually richer because they were exposed to this world that Cowen so vividly describes and dissects.

Anyway, the Hidden Brain podcast provides a fascinating discussion of how much we can learn from pushing out from our comfort zone and to think creatively about possible new combinations, of blending, and of bending, ideas which previously we thought of as existing in isolation and as so clearly linear in presentation. So we need to praise the distorters and the disrupters in science, in art and in business for they are the source of creativity and vibrancy in life and in thought. 

Peter Boettke
Peter Joseph Boettke (January 3, 1960) is an American economist of the Austrian School. He is currently a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University; the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, Vice President for Research, and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU.

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