Wednesday: 28.January.2004

Creativity, Sleep & Entropy

A new German study (at the University of Luebeck) found that sleep is essential for creativity & problem solving. Duh. I could have told them that. I thought this was common knowledge.

I've been interested in the subject of creativity for some years now. While working in an industry where adhering to prescribed procedures is necessary (& boring), and where creativity is viewed as dangerous, I decided to explore new horizons, beginning with Julia Cameron's book: The Artist's Way, considered by many the bible of creativity.

Here in Laguna, an artist's community, you can overhear people on the street talking the creative lingo. If you visit the RADIFIED splash page, you'll find this quote posted there:

Against the ruin of the world, there is but one defense:
the creative act.
Be creative, save the world.

I like that quote because it references the notion of entropy (the second law of thermodynamics), which contains the idea that the universe is in a state of continual decay (from order to disorder). There's even a philosophical argument for the existence of God (the teleological argument) that employs the concept of entropy as its premise. It goes something like this (the Radified version):

continued

1. We notice that we live in an orderly world. For example the sun rises & sets on a predictable schedule. Likewise, the moon circles the earth, the tides rise & fall, the seasons follow each other, year after year, etc.

2. We also notice our world in a state of continual decay, proceeding from a state of order to disorder (entropy). If we landed on a deserted island (signifying nature) and found a shiny, gold pocket-watch (signifying order, with all its intricate gears) lying on the beach, we wouldn't assume it "just happened". No, we would know that someone created it.

Likewise, if you park your new car in the backyard, and expose it to wind, rain & sun, and return 50 years later, it will have magically transformed into a rusted pile of junk (continually decaying over the years, thereby exhibiting the notion of entropy).

3. The order & precision we witness in our universe, combined with the continual decay (entropy) we observe, lends itself to the necessity for some great creator who set the universe in its orderly motion .. and that we call God.

I've also been interested in the subject of creativity as it pertains to a Film school student, but discovered that the craft of filmmaking is more about long hours (sleep deprivation) of grueling work than the actual creative process.

I use many "tricks" to help foster creativity, such as drinking choline cocktail (tastes like Tang). To help explore the creative process, I "created" this web site .. speaking of which, it looks like RADIFIED will set a new record this month for site usage, breaking the 1.5-million hits-per-month mark. We still have a few days left, so we'll see what happens.

As a student (where I had many classes in thermodynamics .. talk about putting you to sleep), I quickly learned that the best way to prepare for an exam was to get a good night's rest, and not stay up all night cramming (or drinking tequila). I find it interesting that this follows yesterday's post about a new espresso machine, which represents the primary source of inspiration for millions.





Posted by Rad at January 28, 2004 10:32 AM

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Posted by: Blade at January 29, 2004 07:55 AM