inside the box

People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.

“We think of creative people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but the thing we celebrate is the after-effect,” says Barry Staw, a researcher at the University of California–Berkeley business school who specializes in creativity.

Staw says most people are risk-averse. He refers to them as satisfiers. “As much as we celebrate independence in Western cultures, there is an awful lot of pressure to conform,” he says. Satisfiers avoid stirring things up, even if it means forsaking the truth or rejecting a good idea.  

A Cornell study makes the case that social rejection is not actually bad for the creative process—and can even facilitate it. The study shows that if you have the sneaking suspicion you might not belong, the act of being rejected confirms your interpretation. The effect can liberate creative people from the need to fit in and allow them to pursue their interests.

Perhaps for some people, the pain of rejection is like the pain of training for a marathon—training the mind for endurance. Research shows you’ll need it. Truly creative ideas take a very long time to be accepted. The better the idea, the longer it might take. Even the work of Nobel Prize winners was commonly rejected by their peers for an extended period of time.

Most people agree that what distinguishes those who become famously creative is their resilience. While creativity at times is very rewarding, it is not about happiness. Staw says a successful creative person is someone “who can survive conformity pressures and be impervious to social pressure.”

To live creatively is a choice. You must make a commitment to your own mind and the possibility that you will not be accepted. You have to let go of satisfying people, often even yourself.


domesticated madness words


domesticated madness 2



oct 1, 2014 – Jerome Bruner – 99 yrs old

via Maria:

Today, we hang so much of our identity on our capacity to create, often confusing what we do for who we are. And while creativity, by and large, is a positive force in the external world, its blind pursuit can be damaging to the inner.

most people are other people. trumping authenticity for attachment.

perhaps why ie: th experiment and this mit & twitter – and even this maker ness – won’t get us there – until we free people up to be themselves. twitter data is irrelevant – if it’s not really us. no? how to make it not an imitation. every day.

It is hard for us to accept that people do not fall in love with works of art only for their own sake, but also in order to feel that they belong to a community. By imitating, we get closer to others—that is, other imitators. It fights solitude.  – Taleb



rip Joan King – deep gratitude for your gifts to us.

creative cells…


Co.Design (@FastCoDesign) tweeted at 5:30 AM – 7 Jun 2019 :
Creativity is linked to an inability to filter out sensory information, a new study says (

A few limitations: the study sample was small, and specific. All 97 participants were young and white, between the ages of 18 and 30. Not exactly the full spectrum of human experience, so take the findings with a grain or two of salt.

not yet scrambled ness

carhart-harris entropy law


no one the same


boxed math

oscar wilde

the it is me

of math and men

let me go

we are all weird

stop killing dreams

sir ken

true grit


from c – grokking page..



Over the course of my life, I’ve kept coming back to two more-specific questions: What differences in nature and nurture can explain why some people suffer from mental illness and some do not? And why are so many of the world’s most creative minds among the most afflicted? 
mental illness? or mental awakeness
perhaps more – misdiagnosed.. ignored..?
As I began interviewing my subjects, I soon realized that I would not be confirming my schizophrenia hypothesis. If I had paid more attention to Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell, who both suffered from what we today call mood disorder, and less to James Joyce and Bertrand Russell, I might have foreseen this. One after another, my writer subjects came to my office and spent three or four hours pouring out the stories of their struggles with mood disorder—mostly depression, but occasionally bipolar disorder. A full 80 percent of them had had some kind of mood disturbance at some time in their lives, compared with just 30 percent of the control group—only slightly less than an age-matched group in the general population. (At first I had been surprised that nearly all the writers I approached would so eagerly agree to participate in a study with a young and unknown assistant professor—but I quickly came to understand why they were so interested in talking to a psychiatrist.)
I knew that such unconscious processes are an important component of creativity. For example, Neil Simon told me: “I don’t write consciously—it is as if the muse sits on my shoulder” and “I slip into a state that is apart from reality.” (Examples from history suggest the same thing. Samuel Taylor Coleridge once described how he composed an entire 300-line poem about Kubla Khan while in an opiate-induced, dreamlike state, and began writing it down when he awoke; he said he then lost most of it when he got interrupted and called away on an errand—thus the finished poem he published was but a fragment of what originally came to him in his dreamlike state.)
For years, I had been asking myself what might be special or unique about the brains of the workshop writers I had studied. In my own version of a eureka moment, the answer finally came to me: creative people are better at recognizing relationships, making associations and connections, and seeing things in an original way—seeing things that others cannot see. To test this capacity, I needed to study the regions of the brain that go crazy when you let your thoughts wander. 
Having too many ideas can be dangerous. Part of what comes with seeing connections no one else sees is that not all of these connections actually exist.
In A Beautiful Mind, her biography of the mathematician John Nash, Sylvia Nasar describes a visit Nash received from a fellow mathematician while institutionalized at McLean Hospital. “How could you, a mathematician, a man devoted to reason and logical truth,” the colleague asked, “believe that extraterrestrials are sending you messages? How could you believe that you are being recruited by aliens from outer space to save the world?” To which Nash replied: “Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.”
Some people see things others cannot, and they are right, and we call them creative geniuses. Some people see things others cannot, and they are wrong, and we call them mentally ill. And some people, like John Nash, are both.
(One thing I’ve learned from this line of questioning is that creative people work much harder than the average person—and usually that’s because they love their work.)
Heston and I discussed whether some particularly creative people owe their gifts to a subclinical variant of schizophrenia that loosens their associative links sufficiently to enhance their creativity but not enough to make them mentally ill.
One possible contributory factor is a personality style shared by many of my creative subjects. These subjects are adventuresome and exploratory. They take risks. Particularly in science, the best work tends to occur in new frontiers. (As a popular saying among scientists goes: “When you work at the cutting edge, you are likely to bleed.”) They have to confront doubt and rejection. And yet they have to persist in spite of that, because they believe strongly in the value of what they do. This can lead to psychic pain, which may manifest itself as depression or anxiety, or lead people to attempt to reduce their discomfort by turning to pain relievers such as alcohol.
I’ve been struck by how many of these people refer to their most creative ideas as “obvious.”
@jhagel mental illness..? or the manufactured way we respond to each other.. the spaces we’ve created for people to be..?

From the #Fellows35 kickoff, chemist and #MacFellow R. Stephen Berry of @UChicago on creativity.

Original Tweet:


book from al: creativity is never appreciated at a spelling bee


deray (@deray) tweeted at 7:32 AM – 30 Dec 2017 :


“Ghetto is nothing but creativity that hasn’t been stolen yet”


McKenzie Wark (@mckenziewark) tweeted at 6:44 AM – 6 Sep 2018 :
“Only the incredible eogism that resulted from a belief in phallic centrism could have come up with the notion of creativity.” #KathyAcker (



Why Are Some People More Creative Than Others? Neuroscientists have started to identify thinking processes and brain regions involved with#creativity – Scientific American

perhaps some people aren’t more creative than others

perhaps it’s more about the limits//blinders/oppressions of our definitions/labels

let’s just see.. let’s set us all free.. and just see.. ie: cure ios city


ai and creativity

John Hagel (@jhagel) tweeted at 6:11 AM – 1 May 2019 :
Sociology professor Anton Oleinik argues that neural networks are structured in a way that limits the possibility that they will ever have true artificial creativity (