Friday, 26 February 2010
A Most Ingenious Paradox - Joan Lennon
(I like this photo - it always makes me smile.) I watched a Horizon programme recently called "What Makes a Genius?" presented by Marcus du Sautoy, mathematics professor and pleasant guy. For me, the best bit was right before the end, when another nice man (Dr Mark Lythgoe from University College London) talked about "the paradox of creativity" - which (I'm pretty sure) is this: Everybody has walls that they use to filter out irrelevent information. This allows us to focus. Creativitity requires us to be able to lower these walls - to be open to all sorts of things, creating new associations in our minds AND still be focussed.
"You've got to be able to hold these two states of mind at the same time - you've got to be open and also incredibly focussed." (I took notes off the iplayer version so if this isn't an absolutely exact quote please don't sue me.)
Isn't that neat? Doesn't that sound just the way it feels? That ping, ping of random things banging around the inside of your head, the oh that's amazing! of a problem solved by something out of left field AND AT THE SAME TIME the absolute stillness and, for lack of a better word, muscle of concentrating ... Yes, well, something like that.
Does this ring bells with other people? Or does your creative paradox sing to a different tune altogether? It would be interesting to hear!
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