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  • Writer's pictureJamie McCarthy

People Improvising (From 20th January 2016)

Woke in the night for a while. Had the thought that one of the things that really characterises human beings is our ability to improvise. I'm not saying that other animals don't do it and it sets us apart from 'mere beasts' or any rubbish like that, just that it's a very human thing to do ... in conversation, in walking, in sex, in living day to day, It certainly sets us apart from most of the computer-driven things we encounter every day.

Yet everywhere in the culture in which I live it seems improvisation is excluded more and more: call centre scripts, national curricula, 'how to' approaches to life, sex ... even improvisation!

The great thing about improvisation is that to do it you have to be really open to people and things - to yourself. All these 'how to', script driven approaches to living militate against improvisation ... militate against actually interacting with the world and yourself.

Sometimes the how-to's and scripts come under the guise of 'being fair' or 'equal', but fair and equal isn't about applying the same script to everyone you encounter, it's about being really open to them and their experience - really allowing yourself to improvise with them.

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