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Joined: 25 Sep 2014
Age: 57
Gender: Male
Posts: 929

28 Dec 2019, 5:59 pm

A bit long (1 hour), but kind of interesting.

We get educated out of our creativity. To be creative, a person must (a) get rid of self-consciousness, (b) be willing to be wrong, go back to being a child, (c) empathy: the world is bigger than oneself, inspiration eventually has to come from outside.

- - -

I was reading about Genetic Recombination:

The recombination process introduces a huge variation in genetic configurations. I think creativity in the brain proceeds in a similar manner. We have ideons and eddions (or conceptons and vortons in the case of autistic people), these circuits are triggered from time to time, and often would run concurrently. Creativity happens when there is recombination of bits and pieces from different strands of "thoughtons," so to weave out a whole new story, a new line of thought.

To be creative, one necessarily has to be exposed to a variety of information sources. I mean, how did I even arrive at using analogy from genetic recombination to explain how to implement creativity in an artificial brain? Well, I was thinking about an argument with a genomicist who challenged me a long time ago about my statement that a father's sperm is responsible for genetic variability in humans, that in a father's sperm, you'll find individual sperm gametes for making engineers, politicians, car mechanics, office workers, teachers and other professions. That was why 250 million sperm are sent to mate up with one single egg. A father's sperm is not only designed to make a child, but to regenerate a whole society. It was frustrating to discuss with that genomicist, because I saw the Stanford paper with my own eyes (see layman version here:, yet this genomicist insisted that it was impossible to have such a large genetic variation. Well, he shut up when I showed him the Stanford paper. That was a long time ago. Today, I checked into some YouTube videos on introduction to genetic recombination.

A moment later, I was driving, and listening to NPR's TED Radio Hour. Voilà. Things got connected. Analogy established. In this case, inspiration came from outside: from a radio show.

Creativity is like that. It's a bit like "It takes a village to raise a child." You need to understand other people, the world is bigger than oneself. You need to reach out. Everyone has gazillions of thoughtons and life experiences inside their brains. But, until you arrange for those "cross-over" opportunities (like I listening to the NPR radio, while one moment earlier checking out into genetic recombination videos on YouTube), creativity just won't happen on its own.

To arrange for those "cross-over" opportunities, one must expand one's horizon and enrich oneself with new life experiences. We tend to think that a person is intelligent because that person has a big brain. That has never been true. In human societies, intelligence and relevant information have long been factored out of our brains. In the old days, it was the libraries that held the bulk of knowledge, and academicians that propagated the information from one generation to the next. Today, it's the Internet. The bulk of information is out there, outside our brains. A smart person is not a person that holds most information, but a person that succeeds in creating those cross-over opportunities.

It's a bit corny, but the Terminator 3 movie explains it quite well. The net itself has become intelligent. We are just pawns in the big scheme of things. Oh well.

Robert Brewster: Skynet. The virus has infected Skynet.
John Connor: Skynet IS the virus. It's the reason everything's falling apart!

Anyway, it'll be good for your children to listen to the NPR show. And then, think a bit on how your children are going to survive in today's world.

Jason Lu