Creativity: Elizabeth Gilbert

elizabeth-gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert discusses overcoming the fear of creativity.  Click on the image to watch the TED.com video.

Link:

Icons: The Crisis of Credit Visualized

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This is a brilliant visual presentation.

Note how icons are used with minimal animation to convey the message.

Creativity: Democratizing Evolution

darwin

I have been reflecting on the concept of creation and the concept of evolution for the past week. For most of history humanity has thought about a first cause and has attributed it to different gods. Gods were creators. In the west after a 1300 year dark age, around 1500AD, the renaissance led humanity to democratize creation. Humans took creativity away from gods and attributed to themselves as well. Then Charles Darwin came along.

Darwin had an even more humbling proposition. There was no creation. And as modern minds have considered Darwin’s theory they have been finding that there may be no origin, no direction, no destination and no constants to the universe at all. There is only change.

Until now humans have been clinging to the belief that they are creative. However, as we learn more about nature and human beings we are finding that humans have to accept that we are a product of and no different than the evolution that produced us. There is no origin, direction, destination or constants in our lives either. Anyone who claims certainty is no less gambling on life than anyone who accepts uncertainty.

Everything and everyone is unique and unintelligent. There are no creators and no designs.  We have to democratize evolution.

We have to accept that we are all here for no other reason than evolution produced us. Darwin himself did not understand that there is no such thing as fitness. No one is more fit than anyone else because existence is arbitrary. Control is an illusion. All of humanity could cease to exist in a moment due to an unknown cosmic event.

So, when I look at people taking credit for anything or giving credit to a god, I am not persuaded at all. Because I know that they and all they produce as well as I and all I produce have no origin, no direction, no destination and no constants. Everyone is an impostor.

I have no need for guilt. No need for forgiveness. I can live as I wish. Quality and quantity of life are subjective. The motives and organization, events and locations, services and products, units and measures, currency and prices of life are arbitrary. Art and science, design and engineering, craft and trade, commerce and market are arbitrary. For all we do to alleviate our suffering there is always a new form of suffering to take its place.

Evolution is neutral.  Beyond our understanding and beyond our judgment.

That was Job’s true lesson.

Mental Order for a change

winston_churchill

If you read the indepth biographies of Winston Churchill, you will discover that the man suffered from a mental illness called Bipolar Disorder.  Yet despit a life of political defeats, he was able to win the Prime Ministership and successfully lead Britain in its time of greatest need against the Nazi war machine with the words, “Never, Never, Never Give Up.”  Churchill’s strategic insight during the Battle of Britain and his compelling speeches are still studied by leaders around the world today.

abraham-lincoln-picture

Abraham Lincoln’s indepth biographies also reveal he suffered from a mental illness believed to be Bipolar Disorder.  Yet despite repeated failures won the Presidency and even after the death of his wife, led the United States through the greatest national crisis it ever faced, The American Civil War.  His memorial in Washington D.C. reveal a man of profound depth of thought and compassion for his countrymen.  He is regarded as one of the greatest Presidents the United States has produced.

Differing orders of the brain are often hard to distinguish.  Especially when studying accounts of historical figures.  Often different brain order societies claim that the same historical figures had their particular brain order.  An interesting truth is we all exhibit traits of every brain order.  We just exhibit them to varying degrees.

My theory is that all mental orders are just that different orders.  Some orders are more detrimental to one’s functioning than others.

I suggest we are all wired in a similar fashion, but we don’t understand the wiring yet or the inputs and outputs.  We don’t understand the range of Mental Orders humanity has.  Some orders are just more common than others.  Maybe in the end Synesthesia will be found to simply be a different mental order.  Time will tell.

Maybe, and more to the point I am saying we are confusing mental difference with illness.  Bipolar Order, Schizo Order, Borderline Order, Autistic Order and so on .

What I am really wondering is what Bipolar Disorder,  Schizophrenia and Autism are.

What is Bipolar Order?

bipolar

Bipolar Order is understood to be a chemical imbalance in the brain.  However, every cell in the brain is composed of chemicals and scientists do not fully understand brain chemistry and do not fully understand why the range of medications for Bipolar Order are able to conteract the symptoms.   Bipolar Order is a change in the affective aspect of the self.

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More information about Bipolar Disorder can be found here.

Who has Bipolar Order?

The list of prominent persons with Bipolar Mood Disorder is very long as the video below will show (10 mins).  However, present day medicines are making it possible to manage the illness and lead a more stable life.

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What is Schizophrenia?

schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is not a split personality.  Schizophrenia is not a disorder of mood.

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A more extensive explanation of Schizophrenia can be found here.

Who has Schizophrenia?

beautiful_mind

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What is Autism?

autismpuzzle

Autism is not a lack of interaction with the world.  It is a different way of perceiving and interacting with the world.  Understanding autism is not a failure of the autistic, it is a failure of society to provide them with the tools to interact with us and apply their potential.

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Who has Autism?

AlbertEinstein

1 in 150 Children in U.S. Has Autism, New Survey Finds

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Psychism : Mental Discrimination

However, that is not what this post is about.  This post is about the stigma ignorance, prejudice and discrimination against the mentally different as well as the abuse of healthy people who choose to challenge authority or deviate from convention.  I couldn’t find a term like sexism, racism or homophobia, so I decided to coin a new term, “psychism”.  This is not the usage of psychism in its conventional sense, however I think the usage I propose is much more important to society.  Other schools of thought use “mentalism” or “sanism”, but I think psychism has more punch.  Psychism is mental discrimination and Psychophobia is fear of mental difference.

vincent_van_gogh_16

“You’re Crazy!”

When a person presents an idea the hearer has many options.

  1. You can attack the motive.
  2. You can attack the person.
  3. You can attack the timing.
  4. You can attack the location.
  5. You can attack the function.
  6. You can attack the data.
  7. You can attack the need.
  8. You can attack the provision.

Or you can attack all of them by questioning a person’s sanity.  This is Psychism.

To label a person as mentally ill when they challenge authority, act in a deviant manner or simply attempt to be creative is a psychist act.  It is an attempt to destroy a person’s credibility and self-esteem.  It is a violation of trust and a violation of human rights.  It does not matter whether that person is mentally ill or not.  Psychism is a crime.  It is a crime in religion, politics, the workplace, academically, in family and against oneself.  The only time when it is acceptable to intervene in a person’s actions is when they are a physical danger to themselves or others.  And in the case of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia this is rarely the case contrary to public and media sensationalism.

It is often forgotten that the mentally different were among the first victims of eugenics, Nazism and fascism.  Is there going to be a place for them in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights?

Mental Difference and the World

It is predicted that Mental Health will be the dominant concern world wide this century.  It will affect us or someone close to us if not now in the near future.

Here’s some interesting statistics regarding a country struggling to get its Mental Healthcare System into place in the face of modern societal stresses:

  • I have been reading statistics on China.
  • There are only 17,000 psychiatrists for 1.3 billion people.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for Chinese between 15 and 34.
  • Chinese culture does not know how to deal with mental health issues due to stigma.
  • China has developed its own diagnostic manual that deviates from international standards to address “pragmatic” requirements, but also challenges the tendency in the west to pathologize everything.
  • China refuses entry to anyone with a mental disease, I think more due to incapacity of the health care system than anything else.

Australia will not grant immigration to anyone with a mental illness on the basis that they will burden the healthcare system.

Singapore built a new Mental Healthcare Hospital in the early 1990s to prepare to deal with this emerging issue.  However job security is still an issue if you fall ill.

I am still researching.

I hope that this century will be the century when psychism will become extinct in society.  When we learn compassion and help Synesthetes manage their health and recognize deviation by any person as a creative force.  Let’s forget Mentally Ill.  Let’s use the term Mentally Different.

lincolnpenny

Everyone has worth.

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Tim Brown: Creativity and Play

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Do you want to be creative?

  1. Forget the opinions of your peers
  2. Provide a trusting environment conducive to play
  3. Turn off your Internal Editors
  4. Go for quantity
  5. Explore and Experiment
  6. Build Prototypes–Think with your hands
  7. Role Play–Insight to experience
  8. Play is not anarchy–it has cooperative rules
  9. Alternate between Divergent and Convergent modes

Related:

Tim Brown, Design Thinking Blog

Tim Brown, “Strategy by Design”, Fast Company

Tim Brown, “How I Work”, Fortune

IDEO website

Tim Brown, “Innovation Through Design Thinking”, MIT World Video

The Brain: Flow

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This is a topic I have thought about quite a bit. I find that I am a focused person and upon achieving flow either at work or in my own study I will not allow that state to be interrupted until the product of my flow is completed. This does not correspond to the work habits of the status quo. It is not nine to five behavior. Consequently, my employers are continually at odds with performance and attendance. My experience of flow is generally not a team experience and I will not interrupt it to accommodate a team experience of flow. I will simply produce my deliverable and go and get some sleep.

On Getting Creative Ideas

Murray Gell-Mann, one of the largest living legends in physics, discusses creativity. (70 minutes)

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If you listen, Murray’s greatest revelation is simply this: We make up boundaries for ourselves that do not exist. Recognizing false boundaries and crossing them is what “thinking outside of the box” is all about.

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