Secret to Creativity According to Science

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A PBS News Hour article on creativity and how we can nurture and develop it:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/the-secret-to-creativity-according-to-science

Whether you get mesmerised by Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night or Albert Einstein’s theories about spacetime, you’ll probably agree that both pieces of work are products of mindblowing creativity. Imagination is what propels us forward as a species – it expands our worlds and brings us new ideas, inventions and discoveries.

But why do we seem to differ so dramatically in our ability to imagine? And can you train yourself to become more imaginative? Science has come up with some answers, based on three different but interlinked types of imagination.
 
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I believe it has to have an instinctual basis to be built upon, some people just are not creative and cannot think outside the box, for those who can then trial and error and experience are paramount.
 
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There’s also the saying “Necessity is the mother of invention.” that spurs folks on to be creative.
 
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Fervent Freyja
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For some creative people, they actually gather knowledge and concepts to place *in a box* so that they can create. Some people test their foundations and framework over-and-over to be absolutely certain their masterpiece is true to reality.

The conceptual system builders. The information architects. Darwin. Einstein. Descartes. There are different kinds of creativity. Finding the truth can be a creative act.
 
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What did you mean by keeping it in the box?

I know many times biographers like to use that notion like something was preordained to happen in the persons life because the future scientist played with a compass or had some dream as a child which directed him along some path.

I remember watching the movie Chariots of Fire where the Scottish runner, Liddell was said to be conflicted about running an Olympic trial on Sunday. However his sister said he had no such conflict, he didn’t run on Sunday that was his conviction which he never broke.

The movie never got into his real heroic life of being a missionary in China, and being interned by the Japanese. He died 5 months before liberation while trying to take care of others at the camp. Not as memorable movie wise though.
 
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Fervent Freyja
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When designing a conceptual system, you must start with a perfectly empty "box" and take great, loving care to what is placed in there. For example, I take my time before I accept something as true if it is going into the box. I take great care in gathering my materials from the most credible, honest sources and I naturally plan out the build both as I go and with my eye on the long-term. The more material (information) I can go through, the better I become in my building.

Descartes himself believed the perfect city could only be built from scratch, adding onto structures (systems) was too messy for him. He prefered to study all the systems he could and then go about building his own (box) cities after he had gathered what he needed. I love studying his building methods.

In my boxes, I am free to attack my own structures. I liken it to me taking a bat and beating my own structure after making new changes to ensure it remains sound, time-and-time again, I test the same parts. I tear it down often, sometimes happily. Everytime I learn or relearn, I go back to those old neurons and test my framework again. I have difficulty making short neural connections, such short bunching helps with memorization. I figure I developed my methods of long neural connections to get around it. My brain developed under trauma. Possibly, requiring my need to create "boxes" to understand the world. Which, I keep getting is a weird way to think about the world- as systems placed into boxes. Are you understanding me at all?

This does have it's perks, I can easily spot inconsistencies and patterns in other systems that I did not build, if I can pay attention and actually understand it to begin with (like physics has had me thrashing around for 2 years now, I cannot understand it, so it is pure agony for me). The problem is that I'm too lazy to build boxes for everything and end up missing the big things!

When I was little, I called the "box" a map to try to explain things to adults, and also used a "book" metaphor in my frustrations to communicate my thoughts! :)

But, maybe not so different from everyone else at all? Surely, learning is a purely creative act for most?
 
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