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Author Topic: Why Creative People Are Eccentric  (Read 8830 times)

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Offline Star SafyreTopic starter

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Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« on: April 16, 2011, 12:31:38 PM »
The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric

This article is fascinating in many, many ways, but I immediately was drawn to this observation:

Quote
Too Much Information
Cognitive disinhibition is the failure to ignore information that is irrelevant to current goals or to survival. We are all equipped with mental filters that hide most of the processing that goes on in our brains behind the scenes. So many signals come in through our sensory organs, for example, that if we paid attention to all of them we would be overwhelmed. Furthermore, our brains are constantly accessing imagery and memories stored in our mental files to process and decode incoming infor­mation. Thanks to cognitive filters, most of this input never reaches conscious awareness.

There are individual differences in how much information we block out, however; both schizotypal and schizophrenic individuals have been shown to have reduced functioning of one of these cognitive filters, called latent inhibition (LI). Reduced LI appears to increase the amount of unfiltered stimuli reaching our conscious awareness and is associated with offbeat thoughts and hallucinations. It is easy to see that allowing unfiltered information into consciousness could lead to strange perceptual experiences, such as hearing voices or seeing imaginary people.

As a creative person from a very young age, I was always very sensitive to both distraction and lack of stimuli.  In noisy, crowded or overstimulating conditions, I find it impossible to think, hold a conversation, or think creatively.  Sometimes even the presence of another person quietly being in the same room is too much. 

Conversely, silence drives me insane.  When I try to sleep at night in a completely silent and dark room, I will stay up until ungodly hours filling the night with random thoughts, imagining, and, for lack of a better word, night-dreaming.  The absence of input makes my brain fill with all sorts of thoughts which make it impossible to fall sleep.  Night lights, running televisions, white noise machines all are quite necessary for me to get any rest.

Offline grdell

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 12:36:50 PM »
As a creative person from a very young age, I was always very sensitive to both distraction and lack of stimuli.  In noisy, crowded or overstimulating conditions, I find it impossible to think, hold a conversation, or think creatively.  Sometimes even the presence of another person quietly being in the same room is too much. 

Conversely, silence drives me insane.  When I try to sleep at night in a completely silent and dark room, I will stay up until ungodly hours filling the night with random thoughts, imagining, and, for lack of a better word, night-dreaming.  The absence of input makes my brain fill with all sorts of thoughts which make it impossible to fall sleep.  Night lights, running televisions, white noise machines all are quite necessary for me to get any rest.

Hey! Stop describing me!  ;)

Yeah, I've always been pretty much exactly like this, too. I attribute it partly to being a musician and primarily apprehending the world through what I hear. When there are multiple conversations going on around me, I can't tune any of them out. I usually bring a book with me wherever I go, but if the background noise is anything other than pure white, I can't concentrate on the book because everything - and I do mean EVERYTHING - I hear must get processed consciously. I pay attention, whether I want to or not.

Yeah, it's a curse at times.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2011, 01:37:44 PM »
Conversely, silence drives me insane.  When I try to sleep at night in a completely silent and dark room, I will stay up until ungodly hours filling the night with random thoughts, imagining, and, for lack of a better word, night-dreaming.  The absence of input makes my brain fill with all sorts of thoughts which make it impossible to fall sleep.  Night lights, running televisions, white noise machines all are quite necessary for me to get any rest.

I have to have some kind of noise in order to be comfortable.  Luckily, Mr. Oniya snores a little. ^^;  At one point, when we had satellite instead of cable, the service got cut off, and I wrote this:

Quote
It was the silence that bothered her the most, mostly because it reminded her of what used to fill it.  Voices, music, simple noise – whether it was important enough to listen to, it had been there.  Now, there was a void, broken only by the monotonous hum of a fan.  A void that begged to be filled with something – anything.

(more beneath cut)

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
Anything except the ring of the phone.  That was a sound that sent her heart into her throat and her stomach into her shoes.  That was a sound that made her freeze, checking the number on the Caller ID to see if it was known (almost never) or unknown (almost always).  And then she would wait, stock-still, not even breathing as if the person on the other end might hear her breathing even as the phone continued to ring.  Eventually, they would give up, and the silence would return, more oppressive than ever.

She tried to do things to take her mind off it.  To take her mind off of the silence, and the reason behind it.  At first, she tried to do constructive things, but they slowly gave way to endless games of solitaire.  For a while, the simulated snap of paperboard soothed her, broken occasionally by a riffle as she unwound the twisted skeins of the suits.  It didn’t actually help the situation, but it was something she could control – something that eventually, she could solve.  Maybe not on the first deal, or even the tenth or twentieth, but eventually, the last suit would riffle into place and the tinny speaker would declare her victory.

On the flip side, we sometimes have to cut out distractions for the little Oni to do homework - at which point I put on headphones and a CD.

Offline Star SafyreTopic starter

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2011, 01:53:57 PM »
I have to have some kind of noise in order to be comfortable.  Luckily, Mr. Oniya snores a little. ^^;

Mr. Fyre's snoring doesn't help.  If his breathing becomes at all irregular (which of course it does, him being all organic and all), I fixate on that instead. 

Offline Caeli

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2011, 04:13:12 PM »
I can't stand snoring. But the regular, deep breaths of sleep are really soothing to me.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2011, 04:17:05 PM »
Like I said - it's just a little snore, not an earth-shaking, Cheyne-Stokes, 'Dad, breathe so we can breathe' snoring.  It's almost like a loud purring.

Offline Braioch

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 11:33:12 PM »
I find at moments where I'm trying to be creative, such as with writing, I cannot do it with other people around me as well. Even their mere presence is enough to distract me from what I'm doing, that might be the whole me being diagnosed with ADD thing, but it still stands true. Hell I can have headphones on with music playing and they will still distract me to no end to the point that even if I manage a post later, I look at it and wonder what the hell I was thinking when I posted it.

Inversely, I can't post in pure silence, because the smallest sound in the silence distracts me and my brain peters off into random things and I never get the post done. I have to have music playing or something in order to post most of the time, even now as I'm typing this, I have my Mp3 on and playing in my ears. It wasn't until I was going to type that that I even noticed it was actually playing something and now I can't stop paying attention to it >.>

Damn brain.

Sleep is a pain in the ass for me too, I seriously need a white noise machine or fan or something because I can only fall asleep when the furnace kicks on and that won't work when the warmer weather comes in and stays. Too much noise and I can't block it out and too little and my brain fills the void of some noise and runs away from me.

I've also noticed that with how my brain works, I make weird connections to things, thankfully I'm surrounded by people who generally tend to get that. Though I've noticed some people like for instance my father, will look at me even when I try to explain why I said what I said, like I'm insane. A good chunk of my family is like that in all reality, at least my grandmother and sister seem to get it when I do that. Dunno, something about the sensory input makes my brain go into overdrive and think over it all and see what can connect with what whenever it can, and sometimes I'll say it out loud, or half a sentence, a word, or even my reaction to the thought and it makes no sense to other people around me, though when I try to explain it, it doesn't work.

Again, damn brain.

Also, I wonder. I wonder if creative people are more affected by scarier movies and thrillers than non-creative people, because I've always been the guy who's imagination runs away with him after certain movies. Thank you Child's Play 2 for making me permenanetly freaked out by dolls, I appreciate that. Also for the frickin' Final Destination movies for generating paranoid death fantasies that always end in me being eviscerated in some form or another.

As (once again) another idea...anyone else ever suffer from hearing something (usually something you don't want to) and immediately getting at the very least, a visual depiction of it? Usually something powerful to the mind like something emotionally strong, sexually or violently driven. Again, almost tripping and it ending in you somehow being destroyed brutally, or even something involving someone else doing something sexual? I get that all the time and it really can be quite distracting to me at times. Especially when it's someone attractive making a comment off hand about something sexual and immediately I see it in my head, and goddamn if I don't hear them too. >.> Things will constantly pop in my head like that, just visuals of sometimes the oddest things and I wonder if that's common or just a creative thing.

To be fair, the only thing I can do creatively is right much to my ire as I'd love to be able to draw, paint or play music. >.<

Also, sound off if you still have fantasies that resemble so much the imagination games you had as a kid, imagining you're an awesome mage, a skilled sword wielder, secret agent, zombie survivor, sound off please so I don't feel so friggin' weird. Haha.

/rambling

Offline grdell

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 11:58:15 PM »
Also, I wonder. I wonder if creative people are more affected by scarier movies and thrillers than non-creative people, because I've always been the guy who's imagination runs away with him after certain movies. Thank you Child's Play 2 for making me permenanetly freaked out by dolls, I appreciate that. Also for the frickin' Final Destination movies for generating paranoid death fantasies that always end in me being eviscerated in some form or another.

I grew up on horror movies. Really. My mother liked them, so I was watching movies that would make adults scream when I was like 4. They don't "bother" me, really. I think I'm just too used to them.

Quote
Also, sound off if you still have fantasies that resemble so much the imagination games you had as a kid, imagining you're an awesome mage, a skilled sword wielder, secret agent, zombie survivor, sound off please so I don't feel so friggin' weird. Haha.

All. The. Damn. Time.

Offline Braioch

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2011, 12:00:30 AM »
I grew up on horror movies. Really. My mother liked them, so I was watching movies that would make adults scream when I was like 4. They don't "bother" me, really. I think I'm just too used to them.

All. The. Damn. Time.

It's only certain ones.

Like Child's Play 2 got me.

The Final Destination moves.

And a few books have, like IT got me...the book, not that wretched movie >.>

Also: Glad to know I'm not alone. Because of my recent WoW playing I've been having fun with a WoW fantasy and a book series I've been rereading has caused me a few fun ones as well. Only a small percentage actually become plot ideas though...

Offline grdell

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2011, 12:03:24 AM »
It's only certain ones.

Well, if you want to get technical...

The ones that are more far out don't bother me at all. It's the ones that could really happen that bother me. Like Hostel. Hostel gave me the creeps. It doesn't make me want to never travel to Eastern Europe or anything, but it does skeeve me out something fierce.

Offline Braioch

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2011, 12:10:59 AM »
Yeah, pretty much.

Though I personally felt the movie was just gory for the sake of being gory, which did nothing but turn me off from it. I really hate this idea that people have that horror means evisceration and internal organs being spilled out. Movie makers managed to scare people by making them think, not gag.

Offline Zombie

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2011, 01:08:09 AM »
That's interesting and I never really thought that. o-o Especially reading everything you guys have said I've realized I have a lot in common.

I tend to focus on weird things sometimes. Like if me and my boyfriend are laying there and his asleep and I can't sleep, I listen to him breathe and try to match my breathing to his. or if my boyfriend isn't there, since we don't live together, I listen to every little sound and go through my head sometimes what it is. I have trouble sleeping in complete quiet though, but if the tv is too loud I focus on every little thing on tv, even with my back turned and eyes closed. but if I can't hear anything at all I can't sleep, so I usually turn the tv down really low so it's barely audible. If that makes sense? Sometimes I have totally bizarre dreams and I have no idea where they come from, like crazy crap.

but other then the whole sleeping thing I have trouble writing or drawing if someone is nearby. Like today I was trying to reply to a roleplay and my brother was there trying to talk to me, But then I told him I was trying to write something, so he wanted to wait until I was done, but I shooed him away anyways because I couldn't write. xD Drawing is the worse though. In school I used to have people watch me draw and I'd stop all awkward and tell them I couldn't draw with them watching.

I also have this weird habit of watching or reading something and if something happens to a character I put myself in their shoes and go through the whole "What if-" thought process. It's really weird. Maybe I'm the only one to do that and I'm crazy.

Yeeaah o-o
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 01:09:49 AM by Zombie »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2011, 01:14:21 AM »
Yeah, pretty much.

Though I personally felt the movie was just gory for the sake of being gory, which did nothing but turn me off from it. I really hate this idea that people have that horror means evisceration and internal organs being spilled out. Movie makers managed to scare people by making them think, not gag.

I am so with you there.  And:

Also, sound off if you still have fantasies that resemble so much the imagination games you had as a kid, imagining you're an awesome mage, a skilled sword wielder, secret agent, zombie survivor, sound off please so I don't feel so friggin' weird. Haha.

Yes.  Oh god, yes.

Offline Sybl

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2011, 02:09:05 AM »

Also, sound off if you still have fantasies that resemble so much the imagination games you had as a kid, imagining you're an awesome mage, a skilled sword wielder, secret agent, zombie survivor, sound off please so I don't feel so friggin' weird. Haha.

/rambling

as a kid, all I had was my imagination. we didn't get out first tv until I turned 12, and the only music allowed in the house was my parents, and that was only played when they had friends over. Now, as a grown up, I must have some form of background noise, such as music, or the furnace ..something to break the dead silence. It drives me over the edge at times..

[if you want to learn fractal creation Braioch, send me a PM. I will send you a free program with directions]  :-)

Offline Starlequin

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2011, 02:48:05 AM »
Also, sound off if you still have fantasies that resemble so much the imagination games you had as a kid, imagining you're an awesome mage, a skilled sword wielder, secret agent, zombie survivor, sound off please so I don't feel so friggin' weird. Haha.

Wait a second...you mean, other people DON'T do that?  :D Starry night, I can't go thirty minutes without pretending I'm someone else. Of course,  whether that's a symptom of my creative eccentricity, latent schizophrenia, or just a desperate need for escapism is a roll of  the dice, lol.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2011, 03:20:09 AM »
Of course,  whether that's a symptom of my creative eccentricity, latent schizophrenia, or just a desperate need for escapism is a roll of  the dice, lol.

Would that be a d20, percentile, or d6?

Offline Braioch

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2011, 03:39:54 AM »
Percentage dice are a viable route as well.

Offline Starlequin

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2011, 06:58:22 AM »
Hmm, due to my relatively extreme lack of experience with tabletop gaming, perhaps best to go with a good ol' 2d6, neh?   ;D

Offline Star SafyreTopic starter

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2011, 10:26:08 AM »
Mr. Fyre and I need this website running to sleep.  http://www.simplynoise.com/  We love the osculating pink noise (which sounds much dirtier than it is...)


Also, when I started seeing the commercials for Bing, I felt almost insulted.  It's a perfect example of how my mind works, just making seemingly random connections all the time.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2011, 12:04:15 PM »
Anyone here ever play the game of 'How did we get on this subject?'  After a typical conversation, you trace back the logical leaps that took you from point A to point Omicron (yes, so far removed from the original subject that you have to change alphabets).

Offline Star SafyreTopic starter

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2011, 12:22:22 PM »
Anyone here ever play the game of 'How did we get on this subject?'  After a typical conversation, you trace back the logical leaps that took you from point A to point Omicron (yes, so far removed from the original subject that you have to change alphabets).

I think we could almost play that game with this thread.   ::)

Offline Starlequin

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2011, 02:11:04 PM »
*jumps up and down with his hand stretched up* ooh, ooh! Pick me! I wanna play, pick me!   :P

Offline Braioch

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2011, 03:23:01 PM »
I do that all the damn time, and here I thought it was my ADD that did that.

To be fair, that is a very fun game to play ;D

....what was the original topic of the thread again?

-is totally serious...or was until checking the title- >.>

Offline Shjade

Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2011, 05:04:48 PM »
Anyone here ever play the game of 'How did we get on this subject?'
Often. Lately instead of "How did we get on this subject?" I'll play "Walk with me a moment," in which I explain to whomever I'm speaking with at the time the thought process I'd just followed to get to the idea I was about to share. Basically the same game, just with more of it taking place in my head rather than out loud.

Recent example that I can remember: riding in the car, we pass by a girl who looks maybe 14-15 years old in a pink shirt and jean shorts just walking to the park. Over the next couple of seconds I glance over the girl, consider what she might look like in another five years and how she'd look in those shorts then, make the connection between that thought and her current appearance and link it to the sort of thoughts that lead some people toward illicit activities with younger persons, hop from there to the kinds of violent arguments I've seen in which the "righteous" party asks questions like "How can you even think of children that way?" or declares that they would never etc. etc. and begin reflecting on the lies these people must tell themselves constantly if they really believe what they're saying or simply aren't introspective enough to take stock of the thoughts they're actually having, essentially taking what is often a reviled position and finding something in it to which I can relate and at least try to understand - not something I'd ever act on, but at least a concept I can grasp and compare with my own lines of thought.

The conversation that followed started with my saying, "My brain worries me sometimes." Then explaining the above train of thought in more detail.

Offline Braioch

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Re: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2011, 05:39:18 PM »
My brain worries me often