Creativity bridges in the world of books

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“Let your work be in tune with your purpose,” wrote Leonardo Da Vinci.

This can be seen as obvious, but in practice, it should nevertheless be seen as a guide, an objective. This is what the theory of reflexivity among other things proclaims. A theory based on the real circumstances of participating people. Creativity is in this perspective the bridge over which one crosses the river of uncertainty.

Unconscious consequences

In a transformative time, creativity is the very bridge that leads to the new and away from the old. One can borrow the terminology from George Soros’ theory of reflexivity, which he describes in detail in the book “The Alchemy of Finance“. The concept of the theory is basically quite simple and can be transferred to as well as economic and social contexts, or rather it brings them together. Where, on the one hand, the participants try to understand reality and, on the other, try to achieve their aims. Nevertheless, these two functions affect each other and that is what Soros calls reflexivity. It can be seen as a “feedback loop” between participants’ understanding and reality.

Because the participants’ understanding is incomplete, not least in transformative times and environments like the one we now live in. This causes the participants’ actions to achieve unconscious consequences. Because they act not in their own interest, but on their own view of their own interest. The gap between reality and the incomplete interpretation of it creates uncertainty that participants try to bridge with creativity. It can be said a lot about reflexivity and its usefulness, and it is described in “The Alchemy of Finance” by George Soros.

Step-by-step bridges of creativity

6iModel

A completely different form of creativity bridge is described in the book Learning Design in Practice for Everybody in the form of 6iModellen. This is a model that focuses on guiding creative projects of all forms. To optimize the result so that it is as far as possible consistent with the purpose. The model is developed based on the author’s many years of experience in implementing various forms of creative projects and Leonardo Da Vinci’s sixteen design codes. In addition to the six stages or stations contained in the model, Da Vinci’s general advice is something to consider in order to reduce uncertainty. He writes: “The painter has the whole universe in his mind and hand. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Creativity bridges in the world of books

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360 Degree Comics – interactive storytelling

A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This is the beginning of Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of two Cities” from 1859. This masterpiece came out in the same year as the philosophical reflection “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill which had such a profound impact on the further development of society. Where Mill describes a vision for a prosperous humanistic social development based on the individual. Dickens focuses on the problem that where many see opportunities, others only find risks. In such a perspective, the degree of well-being is very unequally distributed. Because when fear is the driving force, you like to turn your back on the future and all too often look back to the colourable security of nostalgia. An ambition that all too often tends to end up in one of history’s darkest rooms.

Charles Dickens’ beginning of “A Tale of Two Cities” is truly a timeless masterpiece, and could be a reflection from our own time:

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,

 

it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,

 

it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,

 

it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,

 

it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair,

 

we had everything before us,
we had nothing before us,

 

we were all going direct to Heaven,
we were all going direct the other way—

 

in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

All this in a world where all research shows that the world’s population is generally getting better and better. And that development has really taken significant leaps forward. At the same time, there are those who want to push technology, environmental, social and other development forward at an ever-faster speed without putting people at the heart of the development. The author Karl Kullberg describes the same phenomenon from his 19th century perspective with the following words in his travelogue from Europe in 1842 (the book is only available in Swedish):

The general spirit of societal fermentation, which is undergoing Europe at this moment, increasingly is gaining air, for it is in the nature of things that the aspirations of an entire zeitgeist should be opposed either by those who are in the gateway and cry out for the rottenness of time, nor by those “third parties”, these amphibians, who want all and cannot do anything.

Karl Kullberg

Dickens, Mill and Kullberg identified these problems in a progressive transformation and also found the starting point for the solution. Today, this management method is called Design Thinking. More about this method can be read in the book “Learning Design in Practice for Everybody“.

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360 degrees comics

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Mark Twain’s essay on the art of telling a story

Mark Twain’s essay on the art of telling a storyMark Twain’s authorship is timeless as the words weigh heavy and find new nourishment through decades and centuries. For example, the short story collection Gränsfarare (in Swedish) and with the translated title Bordertraveller stories that will be published in August 2020, which is the starting point for this blog, begins with words from his inspiring pen. Below Mark Twain’s essay “How to tell a story” is published in a complete version.

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HOW TO TELL A STORY

The Humorous Story an American Development.–Its difference from Comic and Witty Stories.

 

I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told, for I have been almost daily in the company of the most expert story-tellers for many years.

There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind–the humorous. I will talk mainly about that one. The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic story and the witty story upon the matter.

The humorous story may be spun out to great length and may wander around as much as it pleases, and arrive nowhere in particular, but the comic and witty stories must be brief and end with a point. The humorous story bubbles gently along, the others burst.

The humorous story is strictly a work of art–high and delicate art–and only an artist can tell it, but no art is necessary for telling the comic and the witty story; anybody can do it. The art of telling a humorous story–understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print–was created in America, and has remained at home.

The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it, but the teller of the comic story tells you beforehand that it is one of the funniest things he has ever heard, then tells it with eager delight, and is the first person to laugh when he gets through. And sometimes, if he has had good success, he is so glad and happy that he will repeat the “nub” of it and glance around from face to face, collecting applause, and then repeat it again. It is a pathetic thing to see.

Very often, of course, the rambling and disjointed humorous story finishes with a nub, point, snapper, or whatever you like to call it. Then the listener must be alert, for in many cases the teller will divert attention from that nub by dropping it in a carefully casual and indifferent way, with the pretence that he does not know it is a nub.

Artemus Ward used that trick a good deal; then when the belated audience presently caught the joke he would look up with innocent surprise as if wondering what they had found to laugh at. Dan Setchell used it before him, Nye and Riley and others use it today.

But the teller of the comic story does not slur the nub; he shouts it at you–every time. And when he prints it, in England, France, Germany, and Italy, he italicizes it, puts some whooping exclamation-points after it, and sometimes explains it in a parenthesis. All of which is very depressing, and makes one want to renounce joking and lead a better life.

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360 degrees comics

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Bordertraveller blog opens with 360-degree comics and text-audio stories

Very welcome to the Bordertraveller blog. It is focusing on books, publishing and the society in general, and it is the English version of Gränsfararebloggen (in Swedish) that has been around for a while. Besides publishing stories to read and listen to, the blog also will include more interactive experiences like the 360-degree comics that we are launching now, see below, there is much more to come.

Using 360-degree comics

To use a 360-degree comics strip experience you drag the strip clockwise. As you follow the comics strip you will find additional integrated features like audio, video, text, links and quizzes. See our 360-degree comics story with the title: The Development of the book and freedom of expression, see below.

Features in 360-degree comics

Multimedia

Click to open text, image or video in a 360-degree comics.

Audio

Click to open audio in a 360-degree comics

Quiz and summary

Click to open quiz or summary in a 360-degree comics

Next 360 degree comics strip

Go to the next 360-degree comics strip

 information about the 360 degree comics strip

Click for information about the 360-degree comics strip


360-degree comics on Bordertraveller blog

Europe before the misery of nationalism

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When the author Karl Kullberg travelled through a fairly peaceful Europe in 1842, the map looked much different than today. Germany, for example, had about thirty years to go until its final unification and Italy for about twenty years. Both before and after the upheavals of the mid-19th century, Europe’s internal borders have been in constant motion, and almost exclusively because of victories and losses on the battlefield. A fact that led the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to designate national borders as the worst invention ever created by politicians. Especially in the way they have most often were created. But also because they gave birth to an ideology that has created and creating so much misery in Europe, namely nationalism. This ism, which in addition to both nazism/fascism, communism is based on in its practical implementation.

Europe before the misery of nationalism

“Nationalism is war”

A prominent philosopher, Ernest Renan, described 1882, 40 years after Kullberg’s journey, the nation as a daily plebiscite, and writes further in his famous essay “What is a nation?”:

“A province means to us its inhabitants; (…) The people’s wish is after all the only justifiable criterion, to which we must always come back.”

This was now at a time when the walls of nationalism were built ever higher within which the modern national state was born and brought together different provinces into one entity. The many brutal and long-lasting wars of the 20th century reveal its shortcomings.

These shortcomings that the former French President Francois Mitterrand made a glowing speech against in the European Parliament in 1995, please look at this, the speech is in French and subtitled in English, and should be a natural part of school history teaching. Mitterrand himself was one of those who survived the Nazi concentration camps, and he concludes the speech with the words; “nationalism is war”. His own evidence in the speech and the entire history of the 20th century provides solid evidence that he was telling the truth.

Europe before nationalism

Nevertheless, in 1842, the European continent is open to Karl Kullberg’s insightful gaze and talented writing. The journey goes through the States of the German Community, such as Saxony, Prussia and Bavaria, and on to Switzerland. Some of his insights are well in line with today’s research and beliefs. While others produce a different and sometimes more insightful view. One of the reasons for this is that Kullberg as an eyewitness experienced the events on the spot and through the news agency of the time. While contemporary scientists and writers make interpretations from a distance. Another difference is that today’s historians often consciously or unconsciously write from a national perspective. This was not the case in Kullberg’s time. Especially not for him, whose humanism shines through in all his writing.

The book is available in Swedish

After television and the book’s renaissance

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Each age has its own innovative format for stories. The oral tradition turned into innovations such as the texts and illustrations of the printed book. To then turn into moving image and sound in the form of film, radio, and TV. What is significant, however, is that the power of a good story regardless of format can conquer mountains and break through walls. The energy that drives groundbreaking stories is an engaging mix of aesthetics, logic, and dreams that are achievable or not. Today, in the digital age, the innovation is that the user takes another step into the story by interacting within it. Mass communication thus turns to personalised formats and content, and to making the user a co-creator of the content.

After television and the book's renaissance

After television

Nevertheless, mass communication media like television still have a significant influence on society. A media form that can be defined as force-fed information to passive receivers. This is in sharp contrast to other forms of media where the activity is required and the user is given time to reflect and act. For example, a book here can be defined in comparison as a friend and guide to reflect upon. In comparison to the authoritarian command centre that the TV medium can be. Or an interactive book that is both a friend and an activating guide to improving your personal development,  both skills, and knowledge etc. Where the format is characterized by reflection, development of personal solutions with feedback and active engagement.

After the TV and the medium is the message

The medium remains an important part of the message that Marshall MacLuhan explained in his 1964 book: Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. This idea is probably more truthful today than in 1964. Especially since there are a lot more different formats with different characteristics and abilities to engage different audiences. In this spirit, the book appears, both in its traditional form as well as in its innovative interactive format, timeless. Among other things, thanks to its activating properties. But even as we are now leaving the industrial society with its one-way communication to the masses behind us. The book will strengthen its position.


Storyteller On Demand - create interactive books

Storyteller On Demand – create interactive books – click for more information

360 degree comics

Samples from the short story Breaths

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An involuntary return is the prelude to “Breaths” which is included in the short story collection “Gränsfarare” by LarsGöran Boström. When Emmy, 26 years old, with a fast-paced career, returns to her hometown, it leads to entanglements on several levels. The clash of cultures is obvious, but beneath the surface, there is a deeper conflict. A contradiction that will bring her valkyrie to life. Here are the first impressions Emmy gets when she arrives.

Samples from the short story Breaths

Excerpt from the short story Breaths

“The familiar contours are getting closer and closer as the train slows in on its way towards the station. A shiver shudders through her slender body. Sickening and hatred, a feeling she has been liberated from for years, now it’s back.
She gropes strained after the railing on her way out of the train. Hands shake like aspen leaves impossible to still completely. Returning home feels like a defeat when, seconds later, she stands with both feet on the platform: Must free herself from the crowd at least. Must, to regain balance. She takes a hard hold of the bags that seem loaded with lead. The train starts squeaking. Now there’s no way back.

Once out at the bus stop, Emmy takes a strained breath to get the feeling to pass. The gray then still gets a little shade. But perhaps it is only the neon sign over the entrance to the tavern opposite that shimmers. She takes a new breath and puts her feet back in motion. The wheels from the large suitcase are strained when forced to cross over the cobblestone. The left shoulder is weighed down by her other overcrowded bag. But it feels stupid to call for a taxi because the road is still short.

She has rented a furnished floor in the middle of the city center. The pictures online seemed trusting. An nineteenth-century building that has retained the interior in a classic style and added state-of-the-art technology. She knows the neighborhood as well as the contents of her own purse. However, the house where the floor is located, she has never set foot. Just passed by with the insight; what a wonderful architecture. From then until now, lots of water has passed under the city’s bridges.

Dusk, which has lain like an upside-down rug over the city, slowly dissolves and passes into the night. Emmy hurries the ladder with a scurrying attacking fear in the back of his head. Soon she will soon be safe and sound in front of the magnificent oak gate. 3424 and the lock clicks. The gate creaks easily when she pulls it up. A sigh of lightening falls over her lips as it strikes and the light in the stairwell lights up. The day has passed as she had planned. Now she only has the rest of her days to defeat.
She drags the heavy suitcase up the stairs to the first floor. The elevator was, of course, out of order. No excitement, no wonder if the pictures online were truthful, as she stands outside what will become her crypt. After the emotion of getting off the train, she knows that the only reason she is here is the managerial post offered; a milestone in her career. Twenty-six years old and to top it all off woman, it will tart the preconceived sentence. Emmy knows what it’s like.

In a city where everyone knows almost everyone. It’s an excellent breeding ground for a grayed-out male world. VIP here is equal to male equals bald as paving the way for his son whose trip to the top gets short and so it always has been, sigh.

Emmy smiles reviled at the tour of her thoughts as she swings open the door to the floor. The impersonality strikes at her in the light of a frightening chandelier. It certainly wasn’t on any web screen. The shoulder bag thuds against the matt lacquered oak planks in the domestic cage. She still disturbs the chandelier, which spreads a faint orange glow as she makes her way into the living room. There, too, several changes must be made. Things that need to be cleaned up. Emmy crashes seconds later on the bed. Exhaustion causes sleep to quickly lull in.

The short story book “Bordertraveller stories” will be published within the coming months where this story is included.