Working memory dysfunction in geniuses is directly caused by the chemical addiction to creativity

The problem I concern myself with is genius as a cause of personal dysfunction. Please note that here I am speaking of the phenomenon of the genius personality type as a chemical addiction to creativity, and not in terms of historical genius.

Most of this dysfunction is a result of the unusual personality characteristics of genius, for which it may be possible to develop coping strategies. (Some lesser dysfunction is a result of modern societal hostility toward geniuses, who are a threat to the existing power structure because it is based on lies.) A great deal of the self-imposed tribulation is caused by retardation in mundane tasks of daily life which require either working memory or sustained focus or both.

Anecdotal evidence abounds to suggest that geniuses experience working memory dysfunction which ranges from annoying to debilitating. This memory dysfunction applies generally to all parts of their life, most notably affecting tasks necessary for daily survival- excepting the genius’ domain of particular interest, in which the working memory is often unusually strong. A genius who is engaged with a problem may draw upon decades-old information with ease in order to solve the interesting problem, and yet experience great difficulty (often insurmountable) finding a parked car or remembering a ZIP code. It is shocking to me how little study appears to have been made of this rather pedestrian observation.

I will attempt to explain this phenomenon according to my theory of genius as a chemical addiction.

There are at least two components to the chemical addiction to genius. 1) The addiction to insight, and 2) the addiction to social prestige from presenting insights to others. Neither is a prerequisite for the other, but I believe the addiction to insight tends to occur earlier when both are present. Both sorts produce problems with working memory.

A person who becomes addicted to insight without being addicted to sharing ideas is an intellectual, but not a genius. An intellectual is obsessed with obtaining as much understanding as possible, and they may come up with a few ideas of their own as a result, but they do not come up with a massive number of new ideas. Here I’m speaking of an idealized sort of intellectual, and not including all of the sorts of people who consider themselves intellectuals. The desires to acquire knowledge and a reputation for having knowledge or understanding are often found together with the addiction to insight, but they are not the same. While an intellectual may enjoy the social prestige of presenting insightful ideas, or the joy of discoursing on their favorite topics, they are not primarily driven by these desires.

Intellectualism, according to this specific definition, can create memory problems because the working memory can often be filled with the processing demands of producing new insights from current knowledge. This is a complicated way of saying that intellectuals are often distracted because they’re reflecting on the ideas that are swirling around in their heads. Thus, the addiction to the dopamine rush of insight can impair productive sorts of dopamine-seeking that are necessary to function as an adult.

A person who becomes addicted to sharing insights will usually be either some variety of teacher, entertainer, or artist. These types rehash and transmit cultural information but they don’t create as much of it as a proper genius. The dopamine reward for such communication is very high and can become addicting, producing similar sorts of memory problems as experienced by intellectuals.

(Speaking speculatively for a moment, a case can be made that artists regularly create cultural information because they communicate ideas through aesthetics. In my opinion all problem solving has an aesthetic component, and also in my opinion all creativity is problem solving. But enough about that for now.)

A genius (per my definition) requires both the addiction to insight and the addiction to communication. To wit, an intellectual wants to be enlightened (introverted dopamine-seeking), an artist wants to enlighten others (extraverted dopamine-seeking), and genius is the rare combination of the intellectual’s brain and the artist’s personality. This creates a virtuous feedback loop in the brain where insight produces communication, and communication produces insight, and unless the genius is exceptionally intelligent (like Euler) this obsessive-compulsive loop can cause him to suffer from typical dysfunctions caused by chemical addiction. (NB: Reading that list of symptoms will probably convince you that I’m on the right track with this “chemical addiction” definition.)

Aspies, depressed people, and people in the sweet spot for dysfunctional intelligence (~155 IQ in my estimation) are at greater risk for developing this sort of chemical dependency because 1) they are less likely to be successful in functional sorts of dopamine-seeking behaviors which puts them at risk for addictive behaviors in general, and 2) they have greater capabilities to be successful at this particular addiction. As illustrations of the latter, it’s unlikely that someone with a low IQ would become addicted to insight, it’s unlikely that a neurotypical person would have the necessary associative horizon, and it’s unlikely that a happy person could maintain the necessary stream of brutally honest observation.

Advertisements

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Working memory dysfunction in geniuses is directly caused by the chemical addiction to creativity

  1. At work, I generally am effective for about 2 hours. After that I find myself getting stupider and stupider. It gets harder and harder to focus on the tasks ahead of me, instead of spacing out and having a billion thoughts. I still manage to get my work done, but it’s really tough to focus, and my output must seem quite uneven.

    I can sense that my colleagues think I am a bit “off”, and are looking for a narrative to box their complaints into, and me being unfocused seems to be the main candidate right now. I can sense that they are building up some kind of in-joke about me (asking “did you hear what so and so said just now?”)

    Thinking about ways to fix this. It’s unavoidable that someone with my brain make-up is going to seem “off”, the crucial thing is just to not have a pattern so people can slot you into a narrative, which enables them to slot more and more “off” things into the narrative until it becomes an avalance and you get fired (or the contract doesn’t get extended, in my case).

    Ribbonfarm has written about how unprocessed emotions create a narrative vacuum, and that decision-making in groups comes down to getting people to agree on a narrative. I suspect a big part of what makes me “off” to everyone else is that I’m more OK with the narrative vaccum, that the official-narrative-as-truth is clear to me not just a subconscious guiding program, and that I have a hard time compartmentalizing (OK, now it’s fine to be 100% logical and point out flaws, but move a few meters to the fika room and you gotta drop your causality engine’s power supply by half).

    http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2016/02/25/the-epic-struggle-between-good-and-neutral/

    Sorry for my thard space-out! Hopefully it wasn’t a completely useless digression.

    • Maybe a 50% definition of Sigma male might be “higher threshold for narrative vacuum crisis than most, and higher narrative resistance than most”. (The other half being objective success with women and finance, of course).

      Also, as a Sigma male, one is like a narrative vacuum generator to others. Hence why very polarizing. The pool of unprocessed emotions just grows and grows. It’s interesting what narratives people reach for when they encounter something odd they can’t narrativize. I’ve heard “Breivik” on more than one occasion, which is hilarious considering how squeamish I am about harming others.

      Again, sorry for my digression.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        >Again, sorry for my digression.

        You should move to Canada, you’d fit right in with all the apologizing. This is about 95% less digression than you were doing regularly just six months ago.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      > It’s unavoidable that someone with my brain make-up is going to seem “off”, the crucial thing is just to not have a pattern so people can slot you into a narrative, which enables them to slot more and more “off” things into the narrative until it becomes an avalance and you get fired (or the contract doesn’t get extended, in my case).

      This happened to me at an Applebee’s once (it’s a casual dining franchise restaurant over here). That was where I learned not to tell coworkers about the ass burgers.

      >Sorry for my thard space-out! Hopefully it wasn’t a completely useless digression.

      You haven’t seen digression until you’ve read an unedited Koanic infodump.

      • “This is about 95% less digression than you were doing regularly just six months ago.”

        Great! Do I seem more rational and focused these days? And, dare I say it, sane?

        On a scale of 1 to 10 of dissociation, I’d say I used to be at a 9 or so, and now I’m maybe at a 6. Makes me more practical and useful, I think.

  2. “This happened to me at an Applebee’s once (it’s a casual dining franchise restaurant over here). That was where I learned not to tell coworkers about the ass burgers.”

    It would be funny if you wrote up your ass-burgers-at-work stories. Maybe you could collect them in a PDF and, you know, charge money for them. Selling humor for money should not violate your uberstrict morals on such matters.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      :-P

      It’s not morals so much as a matter of taste and sense. Think of it in these terms: does commoditizing good advice sound like a sensible idea? Does commoditizing art sound like a good idea? You can ask yourself that question for any X and probably guess how I feel about it.

      Or to put it this way: we can’t rebuild Western civilization by selling information to each other. That’s just silly.

      • Heaviside says:

        >Or to put it this way: we can’t rebuild Western civilization by selling information to each other. That’s just silly.

        Exactly. Buying and selling is too bourgeois. Great construction projects require slave labour. We just need to give a bunch of Mexicans unpaid internships and have them tunnel our way into the White House with sporks and little plastic shovels.

  3. Rime says:

    Aeoli, lately I have taken to enjoying Van Gogh’s work. I recently discovered he was colorblind, as am I. Knowing this explains a lot of his fame, people are captured by vibrant colors (farbeschwach = colorpoor) and the deliberate brushwork (lascaux)

    I mention Van Gogh as he is a genius addicted to sharing insights of his own devisement, but it is obvious he was trapped in a vicious cycle. The more he shared of his inner world the more misunderstood he became. Classic ‘thal. Open your mouth and they think you’re the village idiot. But twenty years after you’re dead and gone people realize exactly what they lost. Funny that.

    I think Van Gogh is an archetypical ‘thal in many ways. Look up his portraits. I can’t place him because I dont fully understand edenist facereading yet. Though I do have a lot of people and ideas that might be good to analyize.

    If I have a spiritual art ancestor it is either Beethoven or Van Gogh. Motivic development (deliberate brushwork) and a “misuse” of color (orchestration) is inherent to both artists, something I notice in my own work. I misuse philosophy/history/cultural context in service of my artistic goal (counter-revolution). [Example: My first opera will use massive led screens and a “fusion” of jazz, rock and classical music to illustrate a warrior-prince overthrowing a vampire and reclaiming his fathers kingdom. Will this ever get staged?Maybe if St. Cecilia helps.] I do it in a broader manner than Van Gogh and Beethoven, but the internet allows me access to the biggest library in the history of man.

    I am probably not a genius, but I am going to keep trying. It feels like there is a flood waiting but I don’t know how to “safely” open the gate. Last time I tried I ended up in the looney bin. People scare easily. How does a wannabe genius escape the vicious cycle of getting shut down and ignored? How did you do it?

    Sorry, rambling! Great work as usual.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Aeoli, lately I have taken to enjoying Van Gogh’s work. I recently discovered he was colorblind, as am I. Knowing this explains a lot of his fame, people are captured by vibrant colors (farbeschwach = colorpoor) and the deliberate brushwork (lascaux)

      Also explains his emphasis on perspective.

      >I mention Van Gogh as he is a genius addicted to sharing insights of his own devisement, but it is obvious he was trapped in a vicious cycle. The more he shared of his inner world the more misunderstood he became. Classic ‘thal. Open your mouth and they think you’re the village idiot. But twenty years after you’re dead and gone people realize exactly what they lost. Funny that.

      No respect among the living. There is only social dominance.

      >I think Van Gogh is an archetypical ‘thal in many ways. Look up his portraits. I can’t place him because I dont fully understand edenist facereading yet.

      Ditto all, I’m still a piss-poor facereader honestly.

      >I misuse philosophy/history/cultural context in service of my artistic goal (counter-revolution).

      I don’t like this personally, but HBD whaddya do. Still, I understand you’re speaking dysphemistically (in a somewhat humorous way, like when I describe myself as crazy)- someone who isn’t plugged in wouldn’t even notice this “misuse”.

      Still…I oppose anything other than honest reactivity in creativity (and thus art). There is no way to purge the taint once it’s in there.

      >I am probably not a genius, but I am going to keep trying. It feels like there is a flood waiting but I don’t know how to “safely” open the gate. Last time I tried I ended up in the looney bin. People scare easily. How does a wannabe genius escape the vicious cycle of getting shut down and ignored? How did you do it?

      Who says I did? The floodgates only really opened when I found myself with an audience.

      However I would not necessarily recommend it. I think the reason that I’m the one who finally cracked the code is that I was the first person to view genius in an inherently negative light (which allowed me to look at it without the rose-tinted glasses).

      Anyway, at this point I think it is probably best if true creativity remains a relatively small hobby, like cocaine use or watching movies.

      >Sorry, rambling! Great work as usual.

      Thank you, for once I agree that this was pretty good work.

      • Rime says:

        >Ditto all, I’m still a piss-poor facereader honestly.

        This might be a thal thing. Watched a 60 Minutes episode a month or so ago and the people who had faceblindness looked Amud.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/face-blindness-part-one-2/

        >Still…I oppose anything other than honest reactivity in creativity (and thus art). There is no way to purge the taint once it’s in there.

        Christ purifies all things. I will convert the popular and academic artist culture in God’s name.

        Our trouble stems frim innovation as the highest ideal in art when it should be beauty, beauty that glorifies God. Tolkien wrote four books and remade a genre. We can do more, we can do better. The arts cannot be left to the servants of Satan.

        >Anyway, at this point I think it is probably best if true creativity remains a relatively small hobby, like cocaine use or watching movies.

        I just finished Miles Davis’ autobiography and one thing that stood out to me is how genius is excessive, Miles described his fellow geniuses as “greedy”. Both John Coltrane and Charlie Parker were excessive in their pursuits of sex, drugs, alcohol, food, new experiences, innovative art and music. Both died of the excess of lifestyle. Some of the stories Miles tells of Bird are almost unbelievable! Miles himself was excessive, but he would temper it, rarely pursuing more than one or two things at the same time. His darkest periods were when he attempted to live at the limit, especially ’68 – ’74. He was chasing the groove into the depths of hell and back.

  4. Rime says:

    A short essay I popped out real quick about Van Gogh this morning for my sole social media account:

    I got to see all three versions of this work (The Bedroom) at the Art Institute a couple of weeks back. It was upon viewing this painting that I discovered that Van Gogh was colorblind. My girlfriend pointed out green lines in the floor that I insisted were brown. Then she and I began asking one other about the colors in other paintings, she would point out “strange” combinations and shades which I found largely unremarkable. I would point out normative colors and shades which she found quite remakable.

    Van Gogh was not painting yellow houses, teal trees, and pink skies because he liked putting one over the viewer. He was painting tan-stone houses, dark green trees, and grey-blue skies because that is how he percieved the world. In fact, if you saw Van Gogh’s work as he and I do, you would spend far more time enjoying the perspective, composition, and brushwork. And I hazard to guess that he would not be nearly so famous!

    My mother enjoys telling all who will listen about the time I picked up a marker and drew a pride of pink lions. We still have that picture, and the lions are most certainly that yellowed-tan we know from nature documentaries.

    Knowing that Van Gogh was colorblind gives us insight into his flamboyant palette and his extravagent use of perspective. Van Gogh percieved his palette as normative, his use of perspective is the only way in which he could get his paintings to “pop”; colorblindness would be better called colorpoorness as the lack of rods and cones cause the vision to take a grayer and flatter aspect.

    For a colorblind man to notice something it has to have a strong color, observe that I dress primarily in rich blues. For a colorblind man to know what he is looking at, he is much more relient on distances between objects to give him a sense of scale and place, as shadows and color are unreliable indicators of distance. Hence perspective.

    If you have time between now and May 10, consider a visit to the exhibit Van Gogh’s Bedrooms. It will be a highly rewarding endeavor and I heartily recommend it.

    Link to painting:

  5. Pingback: Warrior idealism | Aeoli Pera

  6. Pingback: Transition from Destiny to Quest in the genius’s journey | Aeoli Pera

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s