Your blog is making me think of many applications of these ideas.

There is the interaction between partners in couples, who will always find themselves at odds at one point or another. This is the process of differentiation that underlies the main type of couples therapy that I do, an appreciation for the differences of the other without collapsing the self to appease a romantic illusion of infinite and enforced mutuality. Anyway, it is a coming to terms with self (generator) vs other (discriminator), to be "creative frenemies" without blowing the whole thing to pieces.

There is a larger way in which GARs can apply to a type of psychotherapy, between the client (generator or bringer of the problems) vs therapist (discriminator or "sort-outer" of those problems). The process has been called a tension or balance between "pacing" and "leading". Pacing is the first and necessary stage of joining with the client in their difficulty, empathizing with their stuckness. It is not strictly generative, but affiliating with the generator. Imagine a creator's greatest fan, in whose eyes the creator can do no wrong. It is affirming but, by my take in couples work, not necessarily all that helpful on its own.

Leading is showing the path, shedding light, directing a way to getting unstuck, all as gently as possible. It is discriminating among the options, looking for the best. Done badly, it can be painful, producing shame or resistance in the client about their failures and mistakes: imagine the artist's greatest critic, who is so harsh that the artist leaves the profession. (BTW, not all therapists subscribe to the necessity or even the morality of leading. I notice those people generally don't work with couples entrenched in opposition.)

Ideologically, the main theme might be the dialectical process: thesis gives birth to antithesis, which is in turn necessary for synthesis to arise.

But that neglects the human aspect which is so important, and I suppose where it seemed to you that AI had something to teach us.

It is said, and I believe, that no human behaviour happens without a "feeling" (in the most general sense) motivating it. Your writing of your blog, and my writing of this response to it, are in some way intrinsically worthwhile to each of us, even if no one ever reads them. (Well they might be somewhat more rewarding if either of them gets made into a hit song, but that seems unlikely.)

Both the generator of any ideas or opinions or works or narrative, as well as the discriminator (the author of their own counter-ideas or opposing opinions or critical commentary or differing narrative), feels a stake in expressing that, and in upholding and defending its supposed value or truth.

The generator then becomes the discriminator of the discriminator's work, and off we go, ostensibly in contention for the truth, but as it deepens into a debate, in some ways it may actually be a contest between drives for validation, vindication, victory, or even vanquishing. (Couples therapy teaches that, the earlier of these stages at which this drive can be satisfied, the better for the relationship.)

I appreciate that in the blog you help us realize the value of thin skin in the service of creativity. The same could be true of the service of truth. Take for example the scientific method, which prescribes a process of falsifiability as the most direct route to knowledge, not our natural bias towards self-confirmation and self-justification. It takes vulnerability to endure the ego death (or at least disabling) that allows us to "kill our darlings".

It would seem the systemic interaction of generation and discrimination functions to produce conflict, argument, and ultimately the evolution of progress (even if Mercier and Sperber would say that's only a knock-on effect.) Sometimes it sucks to be a casualty of evolution though.

Thanks for allowing this conversation that you may have not wanted to have.

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Sep 17, 2022·edited Sep 17, 2022Liked by Drew Schorno

When you and my wife and I met last week, she touched on asking about the "rewards" of making this effort. I wonder if, for the "best" work, they are intrinsic rather than extrinsic. Maybe this quote is well-known, that "blogs are conversations no one wanted to have", but I think at least the author wanted, or in some way needed, to have them. I'm glad you needed this one. As a discriminating sort, I appreciated this generation, and will recommend its wider distribution.

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Great read. I’m curious about the era/timeframe where you were at the music-writing conference.

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probably around 2010 or so? +/- 2 years

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Which Fleetwood album is that?

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