Southwest Script, Donut Holes, and Creativity

Recently I came across an interesting report about another area of research: the southwestern script which was used about 2,500 years ago in the south-western part of Portugal (hence its name) and in adjacent parts of Spain.  The fact aside that it is among the oldest scripts in Europe, researchers have attempted without success for approximately two centuries to decipher  this script. 

Fonte Velha (Bensafrim, Lagos)

The stele of Bensafrim (Wikimedia Commons). 

The story appealed to me because of the image that came to mind: the void of not knowing what all the 90 or so writings on stone slabs say, surrounded by the body of knowledge generated by 200-odd years of research.  That's like a donut-hole surrounded by the body of donut-dough (OK, dough-nut-dough).   The analogy in the Gestalt of the spiraling script adds it's own mystery of the central void.  In spite of all that research there also is not, yet, certain confirmation of authorship --most likely the authors are those who Greeks and Romans call the Cynetes or Conii. 

While the thought of a club of researchers investigating something they don't know is intriguing --it is sort of the fundamental premise of research-- the southwestern script researchers' situation appears similar to the situation of researchers investigating the cause or source of creativity: most would agree that they would recognize when creativity occurs, but only little is known about what it actually is, how it works.  There seems to be agreement that it is some sort of mental process, that it has something to do with cognition, and that some brains produce more of it and others less.  Most likely there are other characteristics on which one could agree, for example that creativity could be stimulated, and that experiencing it is stimulating, as well.  Perhaps creativity is what fills the voids in our knowledge, or, while benefitting from surrounding knowledge, one needs to make space within one's knowledge to open opportunity for creative sparks to occur. 

 idea bulb in donut hole

Another agreement appears to exist that creativity may greatly enhance the potential for achievement in post-industrial societies.  In combination with computing this is evidenced by the Creative IT program of the (US) National Science Foundation.  As one would suspect, similar national research programs exist in other post-industrial societies.