A more mundane lesson is that some creative people thrive on chaos. Every pop-psychology nostrum about creativity – the importance of balance, of cultivating undistracted focus, of getting plenty of exercise – is undermined by the many chaotic creatives whose lives looked more like Marx’s. It’s clear that disarray and anxiety were what energised his work; his very lack of balance and calm are what enabled his originality and volume of output. None of which means balance and calm aren’t nicer ways to live, of course. It’s just a reminder that, contrary to the message of virtually every currently popular book on how to “think like Leonardo”, “train your brain” for creativity, “do great work”, etcetera, the most creative work isn’t a matter of methodically implementing certain techniques (and thus, the implication goes, within the reach of us all). Nor is it necessarily compatible with a peaceable life. You want creativity tips from Marx? Be constantly anxious, angry, underslept and broke. Why not try implementing this approach at your Silicon Valley startup, or your edgy Soho marketing agency? The effects could be revolutionary!
The comfortable truth is that the human brain is “plastic” or elastic if you prefer, and adults can adopt and practice the learning techniques of children in order to improve our creative and intuitive capabilities. If intuition and creativity are the best expediters for advancing and integrating our intelligence and behavior capabilities, while creating the best probabilities for innovative progress, then a real paradigm shift calls for sustaining our integrated learning processes throughout life – rather than dis-integrating the natural process of integration evident in early learning, only to discover subsequently, in adulthood, that we are faced with the imminently arduous task of creatively re-integrating our individual abilities when they should have already become intuitively integrated. The next step in cognitive evolution is to realize the common denominators between creativity, intuition, intelligence, and behavior as the interconnecting basis, or integrated foundation for whole brain development. When we tie together the basic building blocks of creativity with early development while realizing that creativity and early development are one in the same with intuitive development – especially, intuitive language development as the primordial tool for defining and instructing the true essence of human abilities – we can neither misdefine the significance of preschool as merely a quaint passage of life in the early stages of development, nor can we undervalue that every type of ability, every stage and experience of learning, and every person’s identity rely on the unlimited possibilities of creativity.
Na contramão da sociedade contemporânea, homens e mulheres optam por uma vida mais simples. Eles garantem que são mais felizes. Conheça as histórias. Existe um movimento chamado simplicidade voluntária, que é um estilo de vida no qual os indivíduos conscientemente escolhem minimizar a preocupação com o “quanto mais melhor”, em termos de riqueza e consumo. Seus adeptos escolhem uma vida simples por diferentes razões, que podem estar ligadas a espiritualidade, saúde, qualidade de vida e do tempo passado com família e amigos, redução do estresse, preservação do meio ambiente, justiça social ou anticonsumismo. Algumas pessoas agem conscientemente para reduzir as suas necessidades de comprar serviços e bens, e, por extensão, reduzir também a necessidade de vender o seu tempo. Alguns usarão as horas a mais para ajudar os seus familiares ou a sociedade, ou sendo voluntário em alguma atividade. Mudar os hábitos de consumo e só adquirir produtos de que realmente precisa é uma opção de vida de quem busca ser mais saudável.
New research shows that reducing brain activation can increase creativity. Have you ever had a sudden inspiration? The proverbial “Aha” experience? These “insight moments” tend to happen when you’re not actively working on a problem—they come to you when you least expect it. You might be exercising, gardening, or taking a shower. Ideas come at these surprising times because of incubation—when you take time off from work, it frees up your conscious mind and allows your subconscious mind to “incubate” on the problem. Psychologists have long known that incubation contributes to creativity. This is also why play is so closely related to creativity—because when you’re playing, your mind is open and wandering more freely.
Read also: Raise Your Left Hand for Greater Creativity!
Anyone working in a third level institution over the last decade could hardly help but notice that the logic and lexicon of neoliberalism have become increasingly pervasive in Irish academic life. The slickly attired men of a certain age who typically secure leading positions within universities here clearly consider that they are running corporations and evidently regard education as a product to be marketed as one would any other commodity. This insidious corporatisation is expressed most keenly perhaps in a certain kind of language that has become so commonplace within universities of late that many academics do not even seem to notice it any longer. In recent times, students have become ‘customers’, knowledge has turned into a ‘service’ to be ‘provided’ and the various people who form what was once the university community have been transformed into ‘stakeholders’. When confronted with the argument that the language of the boardroom has no place in an academic setting, the dapper gents in the college branded ties and cufflinks feign bewilderment and insist that these recently minted terms are entirely innocent signifiers that have no bearing on the nature of university life. This self-serving naivety seeks, of course, to obscure the reality that words serve not merely to signify the social world but to constitute it as well. The growing ubiquity of neoliberal terminology within third level institutions quickly and perhaps irrevocably alters what the university actually stands for. The recent appearance of terms like ‘customer’, ‘service provider’ and ‘stakeholder’ creates a discursive snare that will transform and, in time, destroy the purpose and nature of academic life. Once you have persuaded lecturers and students to embrace the language of the corporation it is not that big a leap to get them to accept the logic of the corporation as well.
Over the past few years there has been growing interest in systemic innovation. We are defining this as an interconnected set of innovations, where each influences the other, with innovation both in the parts of the system and in the ways in which they interconnect.Yet rather than simply theorising, we want to make this practical. We want to explore the potential of systemic innovation to help tackle some of the key challenges the UK currently faces, from supporting an ageing population to tackling unemployment. This paper is intended to generate discussion. We want to engage with the wide and diverse range of experts already working this space to help sharpen up thinking about systemic innovation and influence practical work to advance it.
An evolutionary philosophy has direct implications for a happy and healthy lifestyle. By understanding how we as humans have evolved, we will get a much better understanding of how we can function optimally. Natural selection has shaped our body and mind for life as paleolithic hunter-gatherers. Hominids have been living in that way for millions of years after they diverged from the chimpansees. Agriculture only appeared about 10 000 years ago in the Middle East, and even later in most other parts of the world. Therefore, our genes have not really had the time to adapt to the lifestyle of farmers or industrial workers: they still prepare us for a life of hunting and gathering. This means that there is a fundamental misadaptation between our present lifestyle and the one that our genes expect. This discord can explain a host of so-called “diseases of civilisation“: coronary heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer, depression, chronic stress, anxiety, ADHD, etc. These diseases needlessly degrade body and mind, while significantly reducing our life expectancy and sense of well-being.
Read also: Paleolithic lifestyle
Every day our world becomes more complex and dynamic. The global population continues to rise with urbanization occurring at an exponential rate. Economic growth brings people from diverse cultures and regions into contact with one another through increased trade and travel. The Internet and social media now seem to connect each person to everyone else, and to make information available to all. This accelerating interconnectedness has in many ways made life better. But it has also brought greater complexity to world affairs. Many of the grand challenges that confront humanity—problems as diverse as climate change, the stability of markets, the availability of energy and resources, poverty and conflict—often seem to entail impenetrable webs of cause and effect.
Children from poor families cope by hiding their situation from teachers and peers. The study sheds light on the demanding circumstances under which poor children interact with other children – and adults. At home a poor child will tend to take more responsibility in an attempt to tackle and mitigate the family’s economic situation. They don’t nag their parents for money and they alert them well ahead of time if they will need money for something. Another coping strategy these children use is to be withdrawn in social situations. The children told the researcher that not having money for bus fare or trendy brands of clothes is less of a concern than the impact of their poverty on their relationships with other kids. The problem is not that poor children are bullied, excluded or stigmatized because of their situation – in fact, this does not happen that all that often. But problems arise because poor children often exclude themselves socially to conceal their situation. Their peers might then see them as being boring or weird. The link between humiliation and poverty doesn’t seem to be obvious to anyone except poor children themselves. The invisible child.
The rising competition between academics and departments, the commercialization of education programs, and the cuts to public funding are recognizable across universities. A broader crisis in higher education is playing out. Nor are they simply the result of failed management or shoddy policy. Rather, this crisis exposes much broader, structural problems in higher education. Namely, academic research and education have been overrun by a comprehensive commercialization process, which is accompanied by a shift towards the model of a Manager’s University. The core philosophy was that running a university is essentially the same as running a commercial company. The consequence was that students are treated as clients, degrees as products, while researchers and lecturers as the personnel of the production line. As we wage our opposition to this development, we are aware of the presence of the same problems at universities across the Netherlands and Europe more generally.