Society as a social invention and you as a social inventor | Jim Dator

Jim Dator; Society as a social invention and you are aq social inventor; Futures Program, University of Hawaii; 1993; 8 pages ← socialinventor.


  1. Introduction
  2. Examples
  3. How to Become a Social Inventor
  4. Futurists as Architects
  5. Just Do It (Nikepermission to act)
  6. Some techniques for Creativity
  7. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats


  • Social construction
  • Social invention
  • Something about the vapidness of Brooke Shields.


  • The publicly-funded university
  • Community college
  • Mandatory secondary school
  • The nuclear fanily
  • Slavery, the institution.


Envisioning social change.

  • Ending slavery.
  • Ending racial segregation.
  • Ending colonialism.
  • Ending war.
  • Ending violence.


  • Awareness of problems.
  • Concern about of problems.
  • Memory for facts.
  • Fluency in ideation.
  • Flexibility
  • Originality
  • Self-discipline
  • Persistence
  • Adaptability
  • Intellectual playfulness
  • Humor
  • Nonconformity
  • Tolerance of ambiguity
  • Self-confidence
  • Skepticism
  • Intelligence

Not exactly OCEAN, but something else

Methods of Structured Creativity

  • Brainstorning
  • Factoring
  • Anti-causality
  • Perspective shifts, as “becoming”
  • Random combinations
  • Beyond dichotomous (iterated dichotomous or multi-variate)

Laws about the Future

  1. Old people are hidebound and anti-creative; do not listen to them.
  2. Break rules, experience what happens.
  3. Technology looks like magic.
As stated.
  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Via: Arthur Clarke; “Laws about the future“; In Jimi Wales Wiki.
See the provenance for how the Three “Laws” came to be elaboated.

The Six Thinking Hats

Via Jimi Wales’ Wiki

Managing – Blue
What is the subject? what are we thinking about? what is the goal? Can look at the big picture.
Information – White
Considering purely what information is available, what are the facts?
Emotions – Red
Intuitive or instinctive gut reactions or statements of emotional feeling (but not any justification)
Discernment – Black
Logic applied to identifying reasons to be cautious and conservative. Practical, realistic.
Optimistic – Yellow
Logic applied to identifying benefits, seeking harmony. Sees the brighter, sunny side of situations.
Creativity – Green
statements of provocation and investigation, seeing where a thought goes. Thinks creatively, outside the box.

And there are allegorical combinations of the essential primes:

Initial Ideas
Blue, White, Green, Blue
Choosing between alternatives
Blue, White,(Green), Yellow, Black, Red, Blue
Identifying Solutions
Blue, White, Black, Green, Blue
Quick Feedback
Blue, Black, Green, Blue
Strategic Planning
Blue, Yellow, Black, White, Blue, Green, Blue
Process Improvement
Blue, White, White (Other peoples views), Yellow, Black, Green, Red, Blue
Solving Problems
Blue, White, Green, Red, Yellow, Black, Green, Blue
Performance Review
Blue, Red, White, Yellow, Black, Green Red, Blue


  • Glenn Paige, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii.
  • Edward de Bono, theory; a practice, an LLC
  • Arthur Clarke, scrivener.


  • Social Alternatives, 1980-06; issues.
    <quote><snip/> is an independent, quarterly refereed journal which aims to promote public debate, commentary and dialogue about contemporary social, political, economic and environmental issues.</quote>
  • Arthur J. Cropley; More Ways Than One: Fostering Creativity in the Classroom; Frontiers in Psychotherapy Series; Praeger; 1992-01-01; 132 pages; Amazon:089391939X: Kindle: $30, paper: $20+SHT; c.f. page 19.
  • Jim Dator; Future Studies as Applied Knowledge; WHEN?; 10 pages; landing.
  • Arthur Clarke; “Laws about the future“; In Jimi Wales Wiki.
  • Edward De Bono
    • Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step; Harper Colophon; reissue edition, 2015-02-24; PUBLISHER, 1st edition “the 1960s”; 300 pages; Amazon:0060903252: Kindle: $10, paper: $2+SHT.
    • Six Thinking Hats; Back Bay Books; 1999-08-19; 192 pages; Amazon:0316178314:  Kindle: maybe, paper: $14+SHT.
  • John A. Glover, Royce R. Ronning, Cecil R. Reynolds (editors); Handbook of Creativity; Plenum Press; 1989-08-31; 448 pages; Amazon:B01JXTJ70W: Kindle: no, paper: $8+SHT → $270+SHT; c.f. page 11.
    Also: lots of other volumes entitled Handbook of Creativity, all from big-brand august university publishing labels (Oxford, Cambridge, etc.); apparently theorists in the area of Creativitity Studies are not very, um, creative.  Thank you, Thank you very much. I will be here all week.

Comments are closed.