Saturday, December 07, 2013
A Hard Road for the Creative
Writing for Slate, Jessica Olien maintains that most people actually dislike creativity, although they may well appreciate its fruits and grasp that it is good on an intellectual level. While I am not sure I agree with everything she says, I think the following point is particularly insightful:
Even people who say they are looking for creativity react negatively to creative ideas, as demonstrated in a 2011 study from the University of Pennsylvania. Uncertainty is an inherent part of new ideas, and it's also something that most people would do almost anything to avoid. People's partiality toward certainty biases them against creative ideas and can interfere with their ability to even recognize creative ideas. [link dropped, bold added]Creative ideas take effort to evaluate and may well cause emotional discomfort among those with less-active thinking habits. Fortunately, as the article points out, many creative people learn to overcome that common limitation in others.
"Rather than dismiss this as new-age silliness or psychobabble, I encourage people to look inward and identify what leads them to feel more or less emotionally safe." -- Michael Hurd, in "Emotional 'Safety'" at The Delaware Wave
"As they spout off, they are admitting, albeit implicitly, that they are not able or willing to figure out what's true anyway, so all that matters is that they look like they know what they're talking about." -- Michael Hurd, in "Saying 'No' for No Reason" at The Delaware Coast Press
"It may surprise those who damn 'the lust for gold' to hear this but gold, like music and painting, is a spiritual value." -- Harry Binswanger, in "In Praise of Gold. Not a 'Barbarous Relic' but a Spiritual Value" at Forbes
"My previous column ... was not meant as an advocacy of a gold standard--not if that means giving government the power to dictate what is and isn't money." -- Harry Binswanger, in "Free Money! Then Free the Rest of the Economy" at Forbes
In More Detail
In his piece on gold, Harry Binswanger makes his argument that gold has spiritual value by generalizing from comments Ayn Rand made about music and applying her identification of reason as man's means of survival. I'll include his excerpt of Rand on music here.
Music offers man the singular opportunity to reenact, on the adult level, the primary process of his method of cognition: the automatic integration of sense data into an intelligible, meaningful entity. To a conceptual consciousness, it is a unique form of rest and reward.And I'll encourage my readers to head over to Forbes for the rest of the piece (linked above), which is absorbing and inspiring in its advocacy of gold.
A Classic, Now Illustrated
From a recent announcement by the Ayn Rand Institute:
"Metaphysics in Marble," an article on sculpture by art historian Mary Ann Sures, was published by Ayn Rand in The Objectivist (February-March, 1969) and recommended by Rand in the revised edition of The Romantic Manifesto.Especially after reading the related Binswanger piece on gold, I look forward to revisiting this classic.
Quoting from the article: "This discussion is a brief historical survey . . . to indicate the means by which sculpture expresses abstractions--and to demonstrate the connection between the dominant philosophy of a given era and its sculpture." The article was originally published without illustrations.
Now, for the first time, the article is available online, supplemented by footnotes containing links to more than thirty online illustrations selected by the author to enhance appreciation of her text. [links in original]