Last Time: Go Creative… With Francis Ford Coppola

“My hope for the future is… the demise of fundamentalism in favour of pragmatism. By fundamentalism, I mean any philosophy that thinks it has the final and unique answer, that believes that there is one essential plan underlying the workings of the universe, and that seeks to make sure everyone else gets persuaded to fall into line with it.

“By pragmatism I mean improvisation: the belief that there are many approaches, that whatever works in the light of our present knowledge is a good course of action, and that what is the best course of action for us, here and now, might not be for someone else, there or then…

“I see these [improvising] people as hunter-gatherers in the great flux of the world’s cultures, enjoying a rich diet of ideas and techniques and styles, creating their own special mixes. There is no snobbism in this picture — no material too common or too exotic to be used, no simple distinction between real and make-believe.

“This kind of improvisational flexibility entails a continuous questioning of boundaries and categories, a refusal to accept that names necessarily fit accurately onto what is being named.”

—  from “Why World Music?” by Brian Eno in Whole Earth Review (Spring 1992).

Next Time: Go Creative… With Henry Miller