"...Thinking out of the box means not only examining ideas that are outside the scope of those that are usually used, but understanding that is what is being done. In other words, before claiming to have found a novel idea, one would have to know what the old ideas were and realize that this idea is indeed new. If I were to write a phrase that transgressed certain rules of the language, I can only claim it was an act of creativity if I deliberately did so, knowing I was breaking some rules. If I wrote this same mistaken phrase simply because I was unaware of the rules that applied, then one would have to conclude my phrase was the result of ignorance, not creativity. "
I thought this was an interesting perspective. It happens to support the argument that learning theory, and scales, and other academia can never make us less creative, no matter how much we'd sometimes like to think so.
However, I think there's another component to this. I think that part of creativity is also recognizing it when you see/hear it -- no matter how you got there. This is what Steve Jobs was so good at, for instance. If I make a mistake though ignorance or lack of skill, but then I recognize "hey, that's good!" -- then that's being creative, even if I didn't consciously break a rule or try something new.