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Woebot
01-06-2010, 09:48 AM
Piece on Creativity and Schizophrenia which manages to nudge a few cliches into more meaningful territory.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/10154775.stm

One for all the nutters out there innit.

luka
01-06-2010, 10:44 AM
amen.

swears
02-06-2010, 08:13 PM
My mental illness stops me from even doing everyday tasks, nevermind anything "creative". I imagine the vast majority of mentally ill people just waste their lives anyway.

Woebot
03-06-2010, 09:19 AM
My mental illness stops me from even doing everyday tasks, nevermind anything "creative". I imagine the vast majority of mentally ill people just waste their lives anyway.

(sincerely) love your tumblr feed swears!!!

luka
03-06-2010, 09:25 AM
i think its saying creative people have things in common wth nutters but without the debilitating side effects. its not saying nutters are creative really.
although swears you and corpsey are the only two genuinely funny people on dissensus. actually naturally witty.
apart from me. so you are creative that means.

baboon2004
03-06-2010, 11:53 AM
seems also to be saying that resistance to societal norms is what defines creativity, which is interesting, as though this society sets 'creativity' as a space in which people can reject norms, but if they reject those norms outside of the 'creative' space, they are branded as crazy.

That makes a lot of sense to me.

I still hate the number of people who go on about being 'creative' these days, when what they often mean is that they've had expensive training in one of the arts. it's become such a social status symbol. :mad:

massrock
03-06-2010, 12:07 PM
I think there is a creative impulse, or some mental / emotional processes or 'energy' that can be turned to 'creative' ends. Some people have it more than others, but if it's there and not used judiciously I think it can find it's way out in other ways that likely won't be as desirable as making something.

I don't mean it's simply laziness, although it can be. Many people, some of whom have great natural ability, have all sorts of ideas and beliefs about why they shouldn't or can't be 'creative' or 'artistic'.

To be honest though I'm not sure that real actual creativity is all that valued in general. Oh sorry, that's just my cynicism talking and I would never let it stop me believing in er, art or something.

There is a 'creative process' though, however wanky that phrase sounds, and if you're taking something or yourself through it you know it. The whole rollercoaster. But there's real effort involved as well, an effort of belief if nothing else.

Mr. Tea
03-06-2010, 12:13 PM
I still hate the number of people who go on about being 'creative' these days, when what they often mean is that they've had expensive training in one of the arts. it's become such a social status symbol. :mad:

Christ, tell me about it. Often it's not even 'art' as such, it just means they do graphic design for a website or something equally humdrum, which apparently makes them Leonardo da Vinci.

When a friend of mine was looking for a flat share a few years ago he said he'd be getting along fine with his new would-be flatmates - invariably 'creatives' of one sort or another - but then when they heard what he does for a living (estimator for a flooring company) it somehow...just didn't happen.

Sorry, this really should go in the "...does my head in" thread. Rant over.

massrock
03-06-2010, 12:42 PM
Did those people claim they were making 'art'? And so what if it's not 'art'? And what is...etc. etc.

Maybe they picked up on a similar attitude in your friend toward their profession? I can kind of sympathise - creative as a noun etc., grates - but it's presumably a description of what they do. I think it's fair to not want to live with people who don't see the point of what you do, or think you are not a 'proper' whatever, like Leonardo or something. :slanted:

When people go on about being 'physicists' you'd think they were bloody Erwin Schroedinger, not something really hum-drum like a part time GSCE tutor.

baboon2004
03-06-2010, 12:48 PM
Ime, people often use the term 'creative' to imply they are somehow 'better' than others, and seem to forget that everyone is creative in some way - being a physicist doesn't have the same social status cachet! And in honesty, anyone I've heard say that has always pretty immediately qualified it with 'physics teacher' or something similar.

I guess my irritation is that having the time to pursue one's 'creative' endeavours is frequently linked to the amount of money you have behind you. Not always, obv, and lots of others make real sacrifices to do what they love, and are good at.

massrock
03-06-2010, 12:56 PM
Well perhaps we're all speaking to examples in out experience really. But..


being a physicist doesn't have the same social status cachet!
Depends on the social context. The legitimacy and value of being a 'physicist' or a 'teacher' or a 'builder' or a 'lawyer' or even a fucking 'politician' is rarely called into question in the casual way you and Tea are doing. It's bordering on offensive frankly.

But yes of course there are colossal amounts of useless wankers out there.

baboon2004
03-06-2010, 01:00 PM
Well perhaps we're all speaking to examples in out experience really. But..

Depends on the social context. The legitimacy and value of being a 'physicist' or a 'teacher' or a 'builder' or a 'lawyer' or even a fucking 'politician' is rarely called into question in the casual way you and Tea are doing. It's bordering on offensive frankly.

But yes of course there are colossal amounts of useless wankers out there.

Hmm, how is what was said offensive? That's a genuine question, btw.

I wasn't calling into question the value of anyone's particular role, more the trend of people seeking to look down on others by attaching themselves to a notion of 'creativity', as though most jobs/activities aren't creative in one way or another.

Mr. Tea
03-06-2010, 01:12 PM
When people go on about being 'physicists' you'd think they were bloody Erwin Schroedinger, not something really hum-drum like a part time GSCE tutor.

I've trained in physics and I'm interested in it, but I don't do it for a living which is why I don't claim to be one - and FYI I'm an analyst, and have been for the last 7 months, thanks for asking.

I just don't think it reflects well on the people I mentioned that they were prejudiced against my friend because he wasn't in their little creative club. I mean, if you're a member of PETA I can see why you might not want someone who works in an animal testing lab to move in with you, or whatever, but beyond that what does it matter what someone does to pay the rent, as long as they can pay it?

Another example: in my house we were looking for new people a couple of months ago and this one prospective housemate was a girl of only 22 or so who made cocktails in some fairly exclusive West End club. She was talking about the interesting people she got to meet there, "you know, creative people...artists [fair enough, I though], advertising people [!], models [!!!]...". It just seems to be an appellation a lot of people want to apply to themselves when really they do an ordinary corporate job that involves making things look nice. I'm not knocking it, I just think it doesn't put them in this special clique or whatever.

massrock
03-06-2010, 01:48 PM
I wasn't calling into question the value of anyone's particular role, more the trend of people seeking to look down on others by attaching themselves to a notion of 'creativity', as though most jobs/activities aren't creative in one way or another.
Well fair enough, if you experience lots of that.

It doesn't describe all the people who work in the arts for little or no financial reward and do so with scant recognition (or actual disapproval) from the wider society because they believe in and love something. Most activity is underground after all. But yes I suppose those aren't the ones who go around describing themselves as 'creatives'. You mentioned sacrifices so fine.

But if there is a trend as you describe, maybe it's bollocks, or maybe there is still a bit of a fight for legitimacy. Don't most people, and all tribes, have some (necessary) notions of the righteousness of their endeavours? And if this sometimes translates into pride and swagger, so what? Don't you think cops, bankers or surgeons sometimes consider they are better than others?


Hmm, how is what was said offensive? That's a genuine question, btw.
I think because of the implication that in this area it is unseemly for someone to define themselves as such-and-such unless they meet some standard in your estimation or are equivalent to the-greatest-of-all-time, or something. It's weird, sounds like a kind of envy actually. It's not offensive exactly but it does have some parallels with (well, illustrates) those negative ideas around creativity. I'm interested in that. Far from having automatic social cache it takes balls to dedicate your life to something in the face of that kind of attitude.

massrock
03-06-2010, 01:51 PM
Anyway I think we probably are talking about some rather different kinds of activity and don't really disagree so much.

Mr. Tea
03-06-2010, 01:54 PM
I think what irks me about it is that a hell of a lot of jobs - OK, maybe not driving a bus or stacking shelves, but a lot of jobs all the same - involve a good deal of creativity, at least if you want to do them properly. It's hard to be a good teacher without being creative, I think. Science, maths, engineering and research medicine are immensely creative, yet these are the stereotypical "nerd" subjects that are viewed as the polar opposite of anything cool, arty or 'creative'. Hell, you can write software creatively (and not just in terms of flashy graphical applications, I mean, but in terms of the actual code).

But we have this kind of collective cultural tunnel vision that assumes a 'creative' job means doing something to do with images, music or, at a pinch, writing fiction of some sort. I'm not dissing any of those things per se, of course - the people who do them may be good, bad or indifferent, same as any job - I just think it's unwarranted to put them on this 'creative' pedestal when what they do is often no more creative than what a lot of other people do, without receiving the same cachet for it.

luka
03-06-2010, 02:02 PM
im osrry tea ive never met a scientist that even had basic social skills let alone anything approaching an imagination.

Mr. Tea
03-06-2010, 02:09 PM
im osrry tea ive never met a scientist that even had basic social skills let alone anything approaching an imagination.

*adjusts coke-bottle glasses*
*exhales noisily through nose*
*returns to spore/mould/fungus collection*

massrock
03-06-2010, 02:20 PM
I don't see this 'instant cache' thing. It's the other way around, unless you are picked on to be a poster child. The fact that this isn't obvious is what's interesting.

And isn't 'creative' in that context then just a descriptor? 'Creative industries' - it might sound silly but we know what it refers to. Surely you are the one assigning particular value ('pedestal') to the term, otherwise why get worked up about it? Anyone is free to call themselves creative or to be creative. Getting annoyed by other people doing things is often a sign that you'd like to do it yourself but don't feel like you can or should for some reason.


I think. Science, maths, engineering and research medicine are immensely creative, yet these are the stereotypical "nerd" subjects that are viewed as the polar opposite of anything cool, arty or 'creative'.
Yes, in fact 'creativity' can be applied anywhere at any time. However it's false to equate creativity with 'cool' and to oppose it to 'nerd'. It's false to oppose 'nerd' with 'cool' for that matter.

Hell, you can write software creatively (and not just in terms of flashy graphical applications, I mean, but in terms of the actual code).
Nothing novel or controversial about this. I used to write software and I've always maintained that it's an artform.

baboon2004
03-06-2010, 02:48 PM
Well fair enough, if you experience lots of that.

It doesn't describe all the people who work in the arts for little or no financial reward and do so with scant recognition (or actual disapproval) from the wider society because they believe in and love something. Most activity is underground after all. But yes I suppose those aren't the ones who go around describing themselves as 'creatives'. You mentioned sacrifices so fine.


Well yep, I think we're in agreement on that.

Mr. Tea
03-06-2010, 02:51 PM
Well then we're basically in agreement, aren't we? (massrock, I mean)

I'm just saying that the guy who writes the back-end code for a website (say) is probably less likely either to be perceived as a 'creative' by others, or to perceive himself in that way, than the guy who makes the graphics or animations that the end user sees when they visit the site. Would you agree with that? That there's a bias in what the-man-in-the-street sees as creative activity towards the audio/visual and away from the technical.

Edit: yes, maybe I'm 'assigning value' here, but I'm doing so on the basis of an assumption or bias that I think is quite widespread. Why would my friend's would-be flatmates feel uncomfortable living with someone who does a technical and 'uncreative' job if not for the reason that they felt it made him different from them? And we all know that feeling someone is different from you is usually just an emotional euphemism for looking down on them in some way.

baboon2004
03-06-2010, 03:00 PM
I suppose, at base, what irks me is people who go on and on about being creative, without seemingly being interested in communicating what it is they're doing (ie more interested in the social cachet rather than the subject itself). That's all. Status obsessives irritate me, however it manifests itself.

And yes, some people do immensely creative things but it doesn't get recognised as such, implying a very, er, uncreative way of assessing what is creative on the part of many people.

massrock
03-06-2010, 03:22 PM
Why would my friend's would-be flatmates feel uncomfortable living with someone who does a technical and 'uncreative' job if not for the reason that they felt it made him different from them?
Assuming they did feel uncomfortable, tribalism and insecurity. Quite basic human traits.

gumdrops
03-06-2010, 03:26 PM
you can be creative doing lots of thigns, whether driving a bus or being a lab researcher, tho i think science is a very diff form of creativity. im not sure if 'creative' science is the same as 'creativity'. it works along quite diff principles doesnt it? one relies - well supposedly - on magicking 'creativty' out of thin air, the other is about usnig existing facts/data etc etc to formulate new facts/data. or something.

i dont see this instant cache for creative people either, unless youre in that field and people like your work. most people outside are likely to hate it/you/especially you for being an artsy tosser.

excuse the typos.

massrock
03-06-2010, 03:27 PM
I suppose, at base, what irks me is people who go on and on about being creative, without seemingly being interested in communicating what it is they're doing (ie more interested in the social cachet rather than the subject itself). That's all. Status obsessives irritate me, however it manifests itself.
You and Tea both live around Dalston / Stokey don't you?

massrock
03-06-2010, 03:33 PM
im not sure if 'creative' science is the same as 'creativity'. it works along quite diff principles doesnt it? one relies - well supposedly - on magicking 'creativty' out of thin air, the other is about usnig existing facts/data etc etc to formulate new facts/data. or something.
I wouldn't really agree with this. I think coming up with experiments and hypotheses can involve using imagination, dreaming, leaps of logic, and so on.

And conversely making art, music, writing requires discipline and actual work. Getting something down, not just dreaming something up.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

Mr. Tea
03-06-2010, 03:34 PM
You and Tea both live around Dalston / Stokey don't you?

Ha, not quite, although I do spend a fair amount of time in or around that area, socially. Dalston's the new Shoreditch, dontcherknow. ;)

TBH, I'm quite sure I don't actually care about this whole issue half as much as I must sound like I do in this thread. But what's the use of measured, proportionate responses when you're having a good barney?

gumdrops
03-06-2010, 03:38 PM
I wouldn't really agree with this. I think coming up experiments and hypotheses can involve using imagination, dreaming, leaps of logic, and so on.

And conversely making art, music, writing requires discipline and actual work. Getting something down, not just dreaming something up.

yeah i know. as i was typing i was thinking that you could easily argue how so many books/songs etc are just based on existing stories/structures in some way etc etc. its not a perfect argument by any means. but the discipline needed for someone to be good within these mediums seem very different, the way in which scientists or musicians approach their work i mean and the way they seem to become creative. maybe musicians would save a lot of time if they adopted a more scientific work ethic/approach (no one say kraftwerk).

massrock
03-06-2010, 03:39 PM
Dalston's the new Shoreditch, dontcherknow. ;)
Well of course. Or actually the centre has moved further east and Dalston is at that stage in the cycle where you get quite a bit of what you and baboon describe.


what's the use of measured, proportionate responses when you're having a good barney?
Rubbish. I mean, I fully agree.

baboon2004
03-06-2010, 03:50 PM
You and Tea both live around Dalston / Stokey don't you?

No, in Brixton myself. I wasn't even getting at the 'shoreditch/dalston' thing particularly, more the number of moneyed people in a lot of 'creative industries', for example journalism. I've come across far too many of them, I'm afraid!

Mr. Tea
03-06-2010, 04:06 PM
No, in Brixton myself. I wasn't even getting at the 'shoreditch/dalston' thing particularly, more the number of moneyed people in a lot of 'creative industries', for example journalism. I've come across far too many of them, I'm afraid!

Yeah, I think it was you (could be wrong, though) talking on here the other day specifically about journalism, and the fact that you have to work for so long for nothing, or next to nothing, to actually get anywhere - just accruing contacts, gaining experience, making a name for yourself by doing little pieces here or there for which you may or may not get paid a small fee. And it's not to knock anyone who does that, and if they succeed through talent and hard work then power to them, but it does rather apply a filter in that it's obviously going to discourage a lot of people who aren't quite well off to start with.

Something like that, anyway - I have no experience of this myself, bar an abortive attempt to get into science journalism last year before realising I actually just needed a job...

baboon2004
03-06-2010, 04:47 PM
yeah, obv there's lots of people (some on this board, i'm sure) who've worked long and hard to get where they are.

But it's defintiely a closed shop to some extent, given the amount of work for nothing you're expected to do, and still survive...

massrock
03-06-2010, 04:56 PM
I think Chomsky has gone about this too. It's quite a big deal really.