Aug 20, 2009

Book Review: Possible Futures, Creative Thinking for the Speed of Life, a review

I liked the premise of this book, Possible Futures: Creative Thinking for the Speed of Life by Jude Treder-Wolff and agreed to review it after reading a synopsis by the author/publicist. Those who wonder about the direction our wired society is taking us, will be challenged by the author's ideas that "technology overload" and "social media fatigue" should be balanced by creativity and "real life" social connectedness.

Possible Futures poses a serious and relevant question to the "Facebook generation" and answers it: Are we becoming too disconnected from real life and being driven at too fast a speed by new, fast-paced technology - communicating instantly, for instance, via computers, television, our cell phones, and other electronic devices? Are we ignoring our mental and physical well-being by the "consumer culture" that urges us to do nothing more than spend more and possess more? Why does all this matter? The author feels that our experiences can and do change and affect the brain and how it functions, and these changes affect us psychologically and emotionally. These arguments certainly made sense to me.

Treder-Wolff has a solution or an antidote for the fast pace of our modern times. Creativity counts! Her answer:
" Our brains are designed for creative challenge. Our souls crave meaning. The human mind is juiced by experiences that combine novely/mystery with emotional involvement and a feedback loop of some kind, such as music, theater, comedy, dance/movement, play. Any kind of creative experience will do, whether it is scientific research or making an experimental papaya pizza or redesigning the baby's room to make better use of space, but the most direct route to the learning/expansion wellspring of feel-good brain chemicals is the artistic experience itself." (ch. 4, p. 59)

Jude Treder-Wolff is a licensed clinical social worker, creative arts therapist, and certified group psychotherapist. She also does play writing and acting. I was impressed by how well her work is researched and documented, supported by almost 18 pages of references. I think the book presents some serious challenges to our 21st century way of life and her conclusions are well worth examining.

Maybe book bloggers can pat themselves on the back for using technology and social media, and being creative all at the same time!

Author: Jude Treder-Wolff
Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: Lifestage, Inc.
First edition (October 8, 2008)

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  1. Nice review! And it really does seem like sometimes we need to sit back away from our computers, cell phones etc. and take a look around us because the seasons have actually changed while we've been texting!

    Take care,

  2. I just heard on NPR today that for $15,000 you can check out for 45 days at some spa resort!! For me, I will take the occasional day off from phones, t.v., internet, Facebook. I like to scrapbook so I feel very creative when I'm doing that. This book sounds like it should be a must-read for us in these technologically advanced world that never seems to slow down!!

  3. This sounds like an important read. Especially for parents with teens!

  4. Wow! I've been thinking the same things for a year or so now! Sounds like a book for me!
    P.I. Barrington

  5. Good post on Creative thinking.

    karim - Positive thinking


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