This Sunday’s report in the NYT Review on creativity, and the current shift toward group thinking has, I think, got some wider social connotations.

Taking the office space “brain storming”  ethic to its logical openplan-inclusive conclusion :

A video gaming company found their game thinkers unhappy…

“..It was one big warehouse space, with just tables, no walls, and everyone could see each other,” recalled Mike Mika, the former creative director. “We switched over to cubicles and were worried about it — you’d think in a creative environment that people would hate that. But it turns out they prefer having nooks and crannies they can hide away in and just be away from everybody.”

And Apple’s other man… 

“…The story of Apple’s origin speaks to the power of collaboration. Mr. Wozniak wouldn’t have been catalyzed by the Altair but for the kindred spirits of Homebrew. And he’d never have started Apple without Mr. Jobs.

But it’s also a story of solo spirit. If you look at how Mr. Wozniak got the work done — the sheer hard work of creating something from nothing — he did it alone. Late at night, all by himself.”

“ ..Mr. Wozniak offers this guidance to aspiring inventors:

Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me … they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone …. I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone… Not on a committee. Not on a team.”

Artists and their strange bohemian approach to relationships also reached an almost mythical and clichéd status at one point. I don’t believe by any means this was ever the norm, but space needed to create does seem to be just as relevant today.

In this short news clip on changing attitudes within youth in Japan, there also seems a similarity; a move toward a more general acceptance of a desire for personal head space.

And although the emphasis in this piece is about a shift in attitudes with Japanese youth toward forming relationships. Apparently they are not committing to having children and/or being in a permanent relationship by “turning their backs on it”.

The term lack of interest in sex may have also been glibly used here to describe this shift; “….a third of young men are admitting they have no interest in sex – a figure that has doubled in the last two years”, may sound shocking especially from a male perspective. But the topic covered is actually about a decline in birth rates and a disinterest in forming relationships.

Not sure either, about the accentuation on “men not feeling able to catch up with the women”.

But the crux is probably best found in two young people’s replies when asked how they felt about gender and relationships :

Her : “..People tell me I am too bubbly, maybe women are getting too strong, but I think that is a shame as I am only living my life in the way I like.”

Him : “..Building a relationship seems like too much effort, to get her to like me, and me to like her, I’d have to give up everything I do at the weekend for her.”


The idea that women and men don’t necessarily want to “give up” their personal space on a permanent basis, unless they specifically want to have children – that and the fact gender attraction and birth rates are certainly far more complex than this report touches on. The essence of it does seem to be hinting at a similar thing.

And ok, sure, statistics are statistics and reporting is reporting. And the women are coming across as not wanting to sacrifice a career or their hard earned embodiments of freedom, (in sharp contrast to what many of their mothers did). For example by renting/owing their own place. And the men subsequently come across as being apathetic or disinterested.

Whereas, if looked at, from the point of the stereotypical relationships of the last generation, the move toward having a re-think of this kind of commitment seems entirely logical. Especially when looked at in the light of previous generation’s divorce rates and emotional health issues that resulted.

Mutual-space relationships or non at all does seem to be a logical generational progression. Less emphasis on the biological and stereotypical mechanics of relationships and more on general personal emotional growth.

Note, the boy interviewed talked about his idea toward commitment in an a way that seemed almost the antithesis of many unhealthy aspects that can form in relationships, like co-dependence, lack of personal confidence etc etc.,.

So, not so much of an apathetic or selfish disinterest in relationships by the young, but maybe a move toward a collective breathing space with an interest in the future of human relationships in general, including their future offspring.

Sounds like the healthiest pre-approach to forming relationships that I’ve heard in years.