The Slow Death of Creativity

"Did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a leading role in a cage?"

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

When I discovered Pink Floyd in my teenage years it felt like being hit by a wall.

Their songs played with my imagination. Made me think. Question. And even wonder.

My mom did a good job raising me. But she had quite the crew giving her a helping hand.

The musicians I listened to, the authors I read, the films I watched. They all had their share of shaping who I am.

Thanks to them I questioned the status quo. Thought about subjects like inequality. Imagined a world where there's no countries.

And they made me value creativity more than anything else.

Thirty years have passed since I first listened to Pink Floyd...

And while there are still a few creatives producing some unique and meaningful work out there...

The huge majority are now mainly using creativity to answer questions like:

  • "How do I capture attention?"

  • "How do I optimize every second of my content?"

  • "How do I create a system to churn out as much content as possible?"

The creativity that was once used to activate people's awareness is now being used to numb them.

We come up with the craziest ideas to hack people's attention. To keep them on autopilot. To hold them hostage in the matrix.

Instead of leveraging humans' best qualities, we leverage the algorithm.

Or is it the algorithm that leverages us?

And the truth is that this path works...

It will get you likes, followers, and perhaps even some decent money.

Just create a well-crafted narrative to justify what you're doing, and you're good to go. Nobody will question it. Not even yourself.


What about that void that shows up from time to time?

When everything seems to be going well, but deep inside there's still a disconnect.

Opportunity seekers probably don't know what I'm talking about. These are the people who prefer to surf the wave rather than create something of their own.

But the few that do... they crave to use their creativity on what really matters:

The ideas.

The message.

The delivery.

Not the path with formulas. But the one that requires exploration. That demands balls to see all other "creatives" being copycats, while you pursue an unknown territory.

But that's the only path that leads you to create unique and meaningful work.

It’s how you feel fulfilled with what you create.

And how you take people out of the matrix by hitting them with a wall.

And maybe...

Just maybe...

We'll start raising kids that can think for themselves again. Even if those kids are not ours.