urbanus vulgaris

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Category: psychology

Today is a great day to publish an insight on creativity.

by jiookrednav

150104_John Cleese on creativity

Well I started to get interested in creativity about thirty years ago, because I went to a conference at Cambridge and I started reading the research and I started comparing it with my own experience and I got very, very interested in it and I also got interested in the fact, that basically once you’ve established one or two principles, that’s all you can say about it, because to sum up something I sometimes take three hours to say:

All creativity comes from the unconscious. If creativity came from logic and intelligence, then all the logical and intelligent people could do it. But they can’t. It all boils down to getting to a playful and relaxed frame of mind. Most of it has to do with relaxation, because unless you’re relaxed you can’t hear the promptings from the unconscious.

Nobody ever had a bright idea when they were attacking a machine-gun-nest. You see what I mean? If you’re occupied with activity -and that is one of the reasons why there’s so little creativity at the moment, because nobody gets any peace any more, because these damn things are ringing all the time, and beep there and you know. You sit down, another e-mail comes in. It’s absolutely poison, because interruptions and anxiety will kill any kind of creativity.

You have to get in an atmosphere where you’re a little bit in a cocoon of you’re own, you close the door or you go sit in the park and you just stay quiet and for 20 minutes nothing happens, because you can only think of the things you ought to be doing: You know, people you forgot to telephone…, so you have to have a little notebook and you write those down and after 20 minutes, the mind starts to calm down, just as it does in meditation, it’s almost an identical process. And then if you start thinking about the subject, not too hard, you don’t want to get tense, play with the thought, and you get little ideas start popping up, but if you’re mind is full of, zoom, zoom beep, beep, you’ll never hear those little ideas, it’ll be drowned out you see what I mean?

This remarkable insight was explained by John Cleese in this interview, starting at about 52 minutes: http://www.npo.nl/college-tour-special-john-cleese/25-12-2014/VPWON_1234760

And here’s some more from Cleese on this blog:

As well as identifying that ideas and breakthroughs percolate in the deep recesses of our brain, Cleese talked about some of the key, practical traits of truly creative people. In doing so he told a story of Brian Bates, a psychology professor at Sussex University. Intrigued by how the creative mind works, Bates chose to study the work practices of architects, because the profession required the combination of two brains in the creation of beautifully groundbreaking yet structurally sound buildings.

“He did a very simple test. He asked various architects to name who, in their opinion, were the most creative architects in the field. He then asked those creative architects to tell him what they do from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. He then went to the uncreative architects—without perhaps explaining that’s why he was talking to them—and asked them the same thing. Then he compared the two. He discovered two differences, and neither was to do with intelligence.”

“The first thing he discovered is that the creative architects knew how to play. They could get immersed in a problem. It was almost childlike, like when a child gets utterly absorbed in a problem. The second thing was that they deferred making decisions as long as they could. This is surprising.”

“If you have a decision to make, what is the single most important question to ask yourself? I believe it’s ‘when does this decision have to be made’? When most of us have a problem that’s a little bit unresolved, we’re a little bit uncomfortable. We want to resolve it. The creative architects had this tolerance for this discomfort we all feel when we leave things unresolved.”

“Why would those two things be importance? The playfulness is because in that moment of childlike play, you’re much more in touch with your unconscious. The second is that when you defer decisions as long as possible, it’s giving your unconscious the maximum amount of time to come up with something.”

Summing it up, he narrows it down to 5 Lessons in this lecture (transcript here). “Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating”:

150104_John Cleese on creativity 02

  1. Space (“You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”)
  2. Time (“It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”)
  3. Time (“Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original,” and learning to tolerate the discomfort of pondering time and indecision.)
  4. Confidence (“Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”)
  5. Humor (“The main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.”)

 

This is just great

by gailiute

This ad beats other ads :)

Why? Because it brings cheating with our emotions even to a higher level and as a main theme shows socially sensitive issue that i haven’t seen touched in ads before – neighbourhoods clearing / improvement.

what do you think?:)

Why you will fail to have a great career

by gailiute

Well this is definitely one of the funniest and the most inspiring talks i heard recently!

Your mentality – social class

by gailiute

Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 1.13.19 PM

Knowing your social class does not change your behaviour or mentality, but sometimes it is interesting just to do these tests to check how average are you :) or how extraordinary. It depends.

There are a few ways to find it out.

1. BBC has created a social class calculator to show your position in a society according to income, interests and social interaction. I did it and actually it did not say my anything interesting. Here it is if you would like to try it yourself.

2. Motivaction has created a test to find out your mentality by analysing your values and lifestyle. This test intends to be used by businesses, designers, organisations, advertising or any other groups that do people related work and need to target them as precise as possible. In deed, this test is quite detailed and precise if done honestly. You can find it here in case you would like to try it.

Of course there are more tests that have similar intentions,  but it is not my intention to bring them all here :)

If you have any one good in particular, please share!

Designing the speed, not limiting it

by gailiute

This is a great example how traffic can become less of a problem in a living environment. In this case this is a story about a village of Poynton that used to be on the crossing of two extremelly busy roads. Well, it did not vanished anywhere, it is still in the same place, however the new approach to the crossing seemed to be such a good investment, that it started pay off right from the very first days, both by reducing risks of crossing the roads and by improving liveability of the village public space.

The idea is quite simple, yet genuine and brave – to get rid of the traffic lights  by designing the speed instead of limiting it. The concept of shared space is already in some countries, like the Netherlands, but for the village of Poynton it was quite challenging experience.

Looks that it works just great!

I found the video here.

factory workers

by gailiute

 

Though this video is related with urbanism in really really remote way, I found it very interesting to watch.

In the ongoing debate about globalization, what’s been missing is the voices of workers — the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world. Reporter Leslie T. Chang sought out women who work in one of China’s booming megacities, and tells their stories.

 

This quotation breaks my prejudice that I had about these workers:

“Chinese workers are not forced into factories because of our insatiable desire for iPods. They choose to leave their homes in order to earn money, to learn new skills and to see the world.”

Poo WiFi

by vytasvulgaris

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8_KNPKWmsA

“One company that specializes in picking up dog droppings, Doody Calls, recently estimated that American dogs alone let go of 10 million tons of dog poop a year. The company also found that 40 per cent of dog owners don’t pick up their pets’ poop at all. In Mexico City, this issue has prompted a campaign by advertising agency DDB Mexico with a Pavlovian-style notion: Offer free Wi-Fi in public areas every time owners put dog poop into a particular bin. Though the video above looks like a satire, it’s a very real initiative being rolled out in 10 parks across the city in partnership with Mexican Internet portal Terra. Owners bag the poop, put it in a bin where it gets weighed, and the park receives free Wi-Fi for the time garnered by the amount deposited (usually a few minutes). Though meant for ‘doggie bags,’ the company told Creativity Online they’re fine with people putting other trash into the bin — after all, either way it keeps the area clean” http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/24/dog-poo-wifi_n_1448512.html .


Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

by vytasvulgaris

“[Martin Luther King, Jr.] gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

The Century of the Self (2002), a BBC documentary by Adam Curtis

by vytasvulgaris

This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed the perception of the human mind and its workings profoundly.

His influence on the 20th century is widely regarded as massive. The documentary describes the impact of Freud’s theories on the perception of the human mind, and the ways public relations agencies and politicians have used this during the last 100 years for their engineering of consent. Among the main characters are Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in advertising. He is often seen as the father of the public relations industry.

Freud’s daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in the second part, as well as Wilhelm Reich, one of the main opponents of Freud’s theories. Along these general themes, The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality.

Part 1. Happiness Machines. Part one documents the story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays who invented Public Relations in the 1920s, being the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhxfArTAcfM

Part 2. The Engineering of Consent. Part two explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud’s ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses. Politicians and planners came to believe Freud’s underlying premise that deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOL_B4GHdmk

Part 3. There is a Policeman Inside All of Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed. In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas, which lead to the creation of a new political movement that sought to create new people, free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people’s minds by business and politics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsbORjWqRzw

Part 4. Eight People Sipping Wine In Kettering. This episode explains how politicians turned to the same techniques used by business in order to read and manipulate the inner desires of the masses. Both New Labor with Tony Blair and the Democrats led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group which had been invented by psychoanalysts in order to regain power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IBGgWLF5qE

(film description from http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/)

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