Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ahmed's Thoughts on the Value of Scaricity (Repost)

Poster Draft 2

Seattle People, it's not too late to sign up for an adventure of self-discovery into your writer's voice. There is no prerequisite for Verbal Expression Lab; writers of all levels are encouraged to apply. As an illustration, in our first facilitation of the Verbal Expression Lab, we had three students. Two of whom were rank beginners and where English was their second language. Both didn't think they could write creatively, but you know what using techniques and exercises Ahmed and I use in Verbal Expression Lab, they both produced creative writing. The third student was a life-skills teacher who was suffering with writers block on a project he was working on. He found the application of scarcity helpful in opening doors into a world he didn't know exited in him

The course is offered at Seattle Central Community College and first class meets July 7th, 7pm, for 70 dollars. That's a whole lot of seven's. You gotta sign up for it.'Cause you know its going to be a special experience.

A few months ago, Ahmed (who is my partner in this endeavor) wrote a short blurb on scarcity, which is the thesis of Verbal Expression Lab:

"Eliminating the illusion of free choice to give real choice is scarcity. Without constraint, free will becomes its own worst enemy. Imagine the horror of immortal beings who have been around forever and will be here forever more: Everything has become banal to them. Choice lies in its own limits--like life gains meaning through its own finiteness, every part of which must be finite and therefore precious.

Another aspect of scarcity makes it an ideal tool for writing exercises: scarcity is too scarce for perfectionism. Under scarcity, there can be no room for revision, second guessing, searching for the "mot juste" rather than "juste un mot". Under time constraints, we produce just what we can before the clock runs out. Under word constraints, we use just the words we have to work with and can't wonder the option of the perfect word. Under style constraint, we fit what we have to say into the form dictated, rather than search for the perfect form to fit our content.

Scarcity is not just a writing tool. Scarcity is the source of the everyday improvisations we all perform to get from A to B, and stay within C. Scarcity is living life to the fullest with intelligence--doing the best with what you have. Scarcity makes art possible: finding infinite meanings in finite materials. Scarcity makes musics possible: finding endless variation of the small number of notes on a scale. Scarcity makes love possible: otherwise, we would always find another fetish in the newest object. Scarcity drives commerce and economics, and governs our day-to-day working world. Scarcity is this class: meeting only four times but attempting to impact your writing forever--or just the rest of your finite lives."

---by Ahmed Teleb

Poster Draft 1

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