Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Please take a survey... for science!

Title: Public Request for Participation

This is a public request for participation for an academic project, “Creativity and Blogging .”

This project attempts to discover what is the relationship between blogging success and attitude. If you choose to participate, you will take a survey aimed at discovering what you think about blogging, what you feel about blogging, and what you do about blogging. You would also be asked a few questions regarding your personality and your views on cooperation. This involves answering about seventy questions. The survey should take about 30 minutes.

You will receive no direct benefit from participating. The only indirect benefit you would receive is the knowledge you are assisting in ongoing scientific research. No compensation is provided Before you begin the survey, you will be shown an informed consent form with additional details. Of course, you can stop taking the survey at any time.

If you agree to participate, please follow the below link to take the web survey:

Take a survey on Creativity and Blogging

Thank you,

The Creativity and Blogging Team

14:37 Posted in Science | Permalink | Comments (8) | Tags: creativity, blogging

Monday, June 18, 2007


Adding to the swarm of blogtalk about innovation (MountainRunner, the first post at ERM, this blog, Zenpundit once, and Zenpundit twice), Stephen DeAngelis comes to the topic of creativity. He gives some numbered myths about creativity

  1. there is always a "eureka" moment

  2. there is a clear path to innovation

  3. people "dig" new ideas

  4. the lone innovator

  5. most people can't be creative

  6. you'll know innovation when you see it

  7. the best ideas wins

  8. innovation is always good

Those interested in creativity may be interested in my analysis of Coming Anarchy, where I identified several factors necessary for creative success, including:

Finally, I also interviewed Steve's co-worker, Tom Barnett, as a project for the same doctoral class on creativity that generated the CA analysis.

11:51 Posted in Stephen DeAngelis | Permalink | Comments (3) | Tags: creativity

Monday, September 04, 2006

Genetic and Experiential Individuality

"Fruity Genes," by Michael Morgan, The Guardian, 22 March 2001,,4273,4156478,00.html.

J.R. of Edgewise asked me for comment on Rudiger Gamm, a mathematics prodigy. I've commented on genetics and expertise before, so Edgewise asked me if perhaps this Mr. Gamm shows that learning is more important than "evoking" in creativity. After all, Rudiger's talent developed only in adulthood and through purposeful practice.

We know that not all genetic factors are present at birth. Political orientation, for instance, seems to be evoked only after our twentieth birthday. More trivially, breasts are absent in newborns but become very prominent later in life. Likewise, we know that intelligence within a culture is highly heritable (more than half of variation can be statistically explained by genes, some from shared environment, and the rest from unique experiences).

In fact, more can be explained by unique experiences than shared experiences. We are wired for struggle, for real mentoring, for victory. Humans learn best when individuals have a stake in the outcome of education, in the form of games, tournaments, and competition. Giving the same lecture or same home environment to two children means very little. Giving them meaningful unique experiences means a lot.

Intelligence, properly understood, is not a story of genes v. individuality. It is a saga of genetic individuality and experiential individuality against the authoritarian, bureaucratic, inhuman sameness of the modern world.

When I see research showing how intelligence has strong genetic factors, I say "all right!" When I see research that we can use purposeful practice to become experts, I saw "wonderful!" From the moment we are conceived, we are unique individuals. God did not make just one a Generic Man who varies based only on input. He has created billions of individuals who are called individually but have the freedom to do what they choose.

He gave every individual himself to control. And us a world to rule.

Read more ...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Computer Games Aren't Bad For You, and The Internet Is Good For You

The text's statements on computer games are doubtful. It states that "an increasing number of studies show that playing violent games, like watching violent TV, increases hostility and aggression." However, more than half of studies looking at the connection between media violence and violent activity failed to find any significant link (Pinker 311). The spread of video games has mirrored the fall in the violent crime rate. Nor it is clear that the greater appeal of software applications to boys than girl is a problem. Newborn boys show a greater affection for mechanical contraptions than newborn girls in their first day (Alford and Hibbing 2004), so how are similar observations later on surprising? Likewise, the the Columbine shooters played “Doom” lessens when one learns the last game they played was bowling (Moore 2002).

Read more ...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Purposeful Practice and Expertise

"The Expert Mind," by Philip Ross, Scientific American, 24 July 2006, (from Slashdot).

"The Schizophrenic Symptom of Flat Affect," by Michael Crawford, kuro5hin, 17 August 2006,

With Hugh MacLeod, Mark Safranski, and Francis Younghusband blogging on how to be creativity, two articles (one in a prestigious magazine, the other a quirky blog) that give a big hint: practice!

From a researcher at Scientific American, writing on chess:

The one thing that all expertise theorists agree on is that it takes enormous effort to build these structures in the mind. Simon coined a psychological law of his own, the 10-year rule, which states that it takes approximately a decade of heavy labor to master any field. Even child prodigies, such as Gauss in mathematics, Mozart in music and Bobby Fischer in chess, must have made an equivalent effort, perhaps by starting earlier and working harder than others.

And a suffer of schizo-affective disorder, writing on getting a date and learning how to smile:

What made the difference? Practice: one can learn to express emotion through conscious effort. With enough conscious practice, affective expression can become unconscious and natural. However, even after all these years I usually seem stoic and unemotional. That is, except when I play music or write, or am incredibly overcome.

My therapist warned that it was likely to take some time to reach my goal, but she asked me to regard every attempt to attract a woman as practice towards gaining the skills I needed to succeed someday. And friends, that's what I did: during some sessions she assigned me the task of chatting up a strange girl, and at the next we would discuss my experience, as well as how I could do better next time.

Of course, readers of tdaxp know this already:


(The adaptive trait of learned helplessness lets humans practice more in some areas than others, allowing highly productive experts to network each other and out-compete groups of generalists. Such intricate self-organization is a feature of complex adaptive systems, such as the market economy. This increasingly social, networked style of man may be way the human brain begin shrinking about 15 thousand years ago.)

18:50 Posted in Cognition | Permalink | Comments (11) | Tags: practice, creativity