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Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

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SkepticBowtie98
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Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

Post by SkepticBowtie98 » March 23rd, 2019, 3:22 am

In discussing the evolutionary and social elements of creativity, the ever-polarizing Dr. Jordan Peterson give a compelling argument about why it is that so many individuals seem to be uncreative on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast (episode 958, around time 2:37:00). In all fairness to Dr. Peterson, I’ll make an attempt to steal man his arguments as to why he believes that there truly are no creative people, for it would be true that through both societal and evolutionary history, that these creative people were weeded out by external factors. His first argument is sociological, that tyrants and dictators under totalitarian regimes will pick apart revolutionaries and displace or exterminate them from the group. Since the ability to be creative (as Dr. Peterson claims the literature strongly supposes) is genetically predisposed, then the creative ability of individuals are displaced from the group itself, severely diminishing creative ability from the gene pool. His second argument is of the same sort yet the foundational premise is centered around an evolutionary framework rather than a sociological one. He claims that a creative person prehistorically stands out more to predators than the rest of the pack. The survival of zebras is contingent on a visual homogony with the group, a singular zebra that sticks out in any way is soon eaten by predators. So, because of the thousands of years of evolutionary force on the human species, there is a severely diminished number of those individuals in the gene pool.
My conclusive distinction from Dr. Peterson is that, it is not so that there exists no people within the gene pool who are creative, rather so that the creative genetic disposition that Dr. Peterson speaks of historically has been suppressed, not diminished, throughout the evolutionary and sociological history. To contradict Dr. Peterson’s claim of diminishing from the gene pool, it is not true that the aforementioned factors extinguished the gene for creativity, rather it extinguished the ability to be creative with the exception of a few outlies brave enough to express that creativity. To be clear, I’m not suggesting in a certain tabula rossa view of human composition or genetics, I understand that some people are more creative than others, or that creativity comes more easily to some than others. Yet, I hold the position that it is timidity, not lack of creativity itself that represses the visual outlook on the topic. I agree with Dr. Peterson that the factors he claims are legitimate. Yet, I negate that they have caused a collapse of creativity but instead a collapse of public bravery. I reject his final claim that there are very few legitimately creative people.
Analyzing Dr. Peterson’s sociological argument, there is definitive evidence that tyrants dislike and will attempt to eradicate, exterminate, and excommunicate revolutionaries. Yet, it doesn’t seem very likely that every creative individual will be taken out of the population just by simply being creative. It does not seem likely that someone who writes a novel and lets it sitting on her desk would be put to death, in any governmental framework in all of history. Instead the people who attract the attention of the authorities possess three fundamental qualities. The self-awareness to construct a belief in contradiction to mass culture, the courage to express such beliefs, and the creativity to provide a vehicle for that critique. These are the people who catch the attention of the authorities, not just creative people, but those creative individuals who express certain other qualities that make them noticeable to unlikely people. I understand Dr. Peterson’s notion that it’s so difficult for artist to thrive on a financial level. Again, the only artists who are visible are those who are courageous enough to take the chance of not being able to thrive and or are so abstained from mass culture that they do not find the ability to thrive imbedded into financial well-being. However, this argument does not negate the existence of individuals who are silently creative or who are not self-aware enough to make themselves stand out as a revolutionary.
Next, Dr. Peterson’s evolutionary argument has one egregious flaw. It suggests a false equivalency between the society of zebras and the society of humans. His argument rests on the fact that if an individual zebra has a distinct characteristic marking, then they will be eaten by a predator. Yet, human societies are nothing of the sort. If a human civilization were to be attacked, the society works together to keep the group safe while as a society of zebras as a group of individuals will make an attempt to escape the grasp of the predator. To really drive this point to the fervency that it’s misconstrued by Dr. Peterson, when he sees tragic videos of the September 11th attacks with first responders and civilians all helping each other escape; does he think that zebras would do of the sort? Human societies are organized as for the individual to act to support both their individual identity and the group identity. So, the objection that one human by being creative would stick out, is vehemently false. Rather the individual’s expression of individuality is a means of survival and reproductivity within the group rather than a dangerous perception from outside the group. The complexity of human social groups exist as protection for the members, so it allows the individualization of members unlike the social structures of zebras. I agree with Dr. Peterson that the existence of oppressive regimes and mass culture is repressing the overall expression of the public. Yet, I strongly believe that this is a misnomer, for there is no evidence that it is creativity that is seen so seldomly but rather the expression and self-awareness to express that creativity.

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juney34
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Re: Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

Post by juney34 » June 7th, 2019, 9:35 am

What do you think creativity is?

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SkepticBowtie98
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Re: Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

Post by SkepticBowtie98 » August 2nd, 2019, 11:19 pm

After going back and reading this *months* later, it seems as though I should have been more articulate about my distinction between expressiveness and creativity. Dr. Peterson's argument is seems presupposes that creativity is a necessary condition for creativity, however I disagree with this claim. I think that creativity is merely the innate ability to create (such as the genetic ability that Dr. Peterson mentions). Unlike expressiveness which is the volition to take that creativity and engage it with the public. I hold true the majority of the societal and genetic factors that Dr. Peterson mentions, yet I believe that this has only made the population more timid, not that these factors has had any impact on the population's innate ability to create.

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Re: Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

Post by Pattern-chaser » October 9th, 2019, 12:46 pm

In summary, I think the arguments made in the OP reduce to this: creative people (revolutionaries; trouble-makers) are (very) often rejected and outcast by their societies/tribes/etc. Thus there are fewer creative people, and fewer still who will admit to creativity. This seems to ring true.... 😢

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Re: Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

Post by Sculptor1 » October 9th, 2019, 2:45 pm

SkepticBowtie98 wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 3:22 am
In discussing the evolutionary and social elements of creativity, the ever-polarizing Dr. Jordan Peterson give a compelling argument about why it is that so many ... Yet, I strongly believe that this is a misnomer, for there is no evidence that it is creativity that is seen so seldomly but rather the expression and self-awareness to express that creativity.
The thing about J.Peterson is that he is a 22ct arsewipe, who would not know creativity if a 10 tonnes copy of Rodin's Thinker was dropped on him out of a 10 storey window.
Whilst it is true that the International Art Market is a poor exemplar of creativity, this is no indication of a lack in this department.
I see amazing creativity every day.

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Re: Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

Post by Sculptor1 » October 9th, 2019, 2:52 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 12:46 pm
In summary, I think the arguments made in the OP reduce to this: creative people (revolutionaries; trouble-makers) are (very) often rejected and outcast by their societies/tribes/etc. Thus there are fewer creative people, and fewer still who will admit to creativity. This seems to ring true.... 😢
It's false.
Creativity has never been foremost in the queue of rewards handed out by society, except in rare instances, yet creativity in all fields is ever present.
There is no weeding out. People are as creative as they have ever been. Evolution of this sort would have to involve the wholesale denial of re-productivity of millions of creatives to make any difference - where are they?
Creativity is a fundamental human trait in all persons, and expresses in a wide range of activities - even accounting!
He might have great skills in argumentation, but what Peterson lacks is imagination.

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Re: Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

Post by Greta » October 9th, 2019, 3:47 pm

As Sculptor said, there's still great creativity happening today, just that it tends not to be included in mainstream media.

I think this is a matter of Maslow's, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail". The issue with creativity today is not about the social points Peterson focuses on, but the fact that when people's lives are busier and it's harder to make ends meet, then there is less time and space to create.

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Re: Creativity is dying, but rather the bravery of expression

Post by Pattern-chaser » October 10th, 2019, 11:43 am

And there are different sorts of creativity. I was a software designer, a highly creative role. But I couldn't even approach the sort of work that (say) Tracey Emin does. That sort of creativity I don't have. So the point I offer is a simple one: creativity isn't just one thing.

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