25 comments on “Creativity, Aging, and Cancer Studies

  1. I agree with you about the importance of creativity, and that too much structure tends to suppress it. One of the things I believe I’ve noticed is that creative thinking does not tend to be quickly appreciated. It seems to me that new ideas tend to be rather rapidly dismissed, often without sufficient effort made to actually understand them. It’s that lack of sufficient effort that I find troubling. I suspect this discourages creativity.

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    • I think you are absolutely right 🙂 We need to get back to appreciating creativity as we used to instead of remaining “in the box.” BTW I just reviewed your blog a bit and think it is wonderful!! I’ll be following it.

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      • Thank you so much for the kind compliment on my blog! I write on a variety of topics including, now and then, topics involving anthropology. If I could beg a favor: Should you read any of my posts where I’ve gotten the science wrong, please feel invited to correct me. I’d hate to be spreading misinformation, even though that seems to be quite the fashion these days!

        I’ve just begun reading your posts, and I’ve got your blog bookmarked, which means I’ll be visiting every day or so to check for new posts and — most likely — dig a bit deeper into your old posts. My first impression is your blog is outstanding, a very happy find! Thank you for it!

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    • Thank you so much, Mr. Bentley! I hope the blog doesn’t disappoint you. The posts do indeed range all over the place. Evolutionary psychology one day, day trips to nudist resorts the next, and discussions of being true to yourself on the third. If you don’t see what you like at first, we might have it sooner or later.

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      • I think it’s great! You are sharing some intuitive philosophies there. Roberto and I tend to bounce all around on topics ourselves. A couple keywords, and we are off in another direction. I think it is human nature to go from waving off a fly to finding priority in waving off the Bee instead.

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  2. I hope you guys realize that when you mention the word creativity the traditional firewall goes up right? “That is not the way my Mom cooked it”. Tradition has done a great deal to prevent innovation in both Physical and Spiritual aspects. Too bad because we could be accelerating the pace if we looked outside of tradition…

    But…at the same time I wonder of maybe we are going too fast at times?

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  3. I think we do move to fast at times and it causes humans problems. Now answer me this JR…..did your mom make malts like the one you are currently gulping down? LOL I think I’ll go get me one too 🙂

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  4. It seems to me that tradition or culture is intrinsically a two edged sword. If we could lightly put aside our cultural conditioning, then how effective would it be?

    The very fact it’s so stubborn to change or transcend it is also why it can be of such great value to our survival, especially under more or less stable conditions. It would be a strange world if we could discard our cultural conditioning on a whim. For one thing, we’d often enough be discarding the tried and true. For another, we’d probably find group cohesion threatened by everyone going their own way. Of course, that “stubbornness” works against us, too.

    I suspect I’ve put all that rather clumsily, but I hope you can get what I’m driving at.


    • No…you did good. It’s a conundrum I understand all too well. And I think a lot of folks who are interested in history have to ask this all the time. How Tradition, Creativity and Innovation are handled can cause the rise and fall of Civilizations and Cultures.

      Mr Peron often stresses how important moderation is as a virtue, and I am big on pointing out extremism as a huge fault in man. Somewhere there has to be a happy medium I think. But in general I have yet to see this, it always seems to go from one extreme to the polar opposite extreme.

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      • Is it even possible to cast off our cultural conditioning any longer? It seems very well ingrained in us today IMO. As Paul points out to do such might well bring nothing but chaos with everyone “doing their own thing.” That would basically be anarchy. I think humans need structure and it is via structure that we interpret the world around us. But how much structure do we need to keep anarchy at arms length? Too much structure is not a good thing IMO but too little structure isn’t either. So once again I return to my imaginary spectrum of two extremes and say the answer is found somewhere in the middle between these two extremes.

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      • “…it always seems to go from one extreme to the polar opposite extreme.” Indeed, that so often happens to be the case that you might almost suppose we have some innate disposition for extremes, much like we have innate cognitive biases. I don’t think we actually do, but there’s something so constant in our swinging to extremes that there must be some reason for it.

        Escaping from even a fraction of our cultural conditioning can be a lifetime’s work. As the Jesuits say, “Give us the boy for seven years, and we’ll give you the man.” What’s instilled in us during the relatively short years of our childhood and adolescence can take decades to become fully aware of, let alone in some meaningful way escape from it.

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      • It may be related to our rudimentary primal Fight or Flight instincts. Our brain stem has no happy medium between these to actions. It is all one way or all the other way and it is up to us to put the breaks on these instincts by applying signals from the Prefrontal Cortex. So apparently there is a real biological excuse for these extremes.

        “The driver of our instincts is the brainstem – the region at the very base of your brain, just above the spinal chord. Scientists have known for some time that another brain region, the prefrontal cortex, plays a role in keeping those instincts in check [see box]. But exactly how the prefrontal cortex puts a break on the brainstem has remained unclear.”


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  5. cultural conditioning: junk science, fake news, truthful hyperbole, and the ever present ad, new and improved! yet out of some fear we still need to buy into the extended warranty plan. we are so structured it is laughable. my state government is wasting our tax dollars debating whether skunks and raccoons are predators or not. i saw the committee on capitol coverage discussing these horrible creatures and what they should be called. crap they better not drive down a country road and see a gopher eating a road killed gopher. that means our state govt. will have to spend millions redefining gophers as cannibals! way to much structure, but that is how you control the masses, religion and government gives us structure. people who work at McDonalds rely on that structure to get them a raise. if they were creative at all they would ask for the raise or learn something new so they can earn more money. lethargy and apathy will never spell contentment.

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  6. Where I live they are spending taxpayer dollars to study sexual deviation in some endangered squirrel which is just about as ridiculous as what they are doing where you live. Total waste!! I agree….there is too much structure and it kills creativity. Good comments 🙂


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