Re: Moods of Mind(was Re:Psychedelic singularities)

John Jay Feiler (
Tue, 17 Dec 96 08:39:54 -0800

>At 09:50 AM 12/16/96 -0500, you wrote:
>>It is said that what makes a
>>genius is the ability to combine two entirely unrelated fields in new and
>>unexplored ways. Make note of the new issue of Wired, in it is featured
>>software that analyzes something to the effect of three million or billion
>>(I don't have it sitting next to me, so please excuse the vagueness)
>>technical papers and looks for associations that would not normally have
>>been found. In this state, one thinks of some vary bizarre things, and
>>can make associations. What Anders experiences is probably just this, he
>>is dead tired so is less able to maintain a grip on his beta state, and
>>slips down into slight unconsciousness, rides the border, releasing a
>>torrent of new and creative unforeseen ideas.
>Many of my best ideas have also when I was either tired, or "under the
>influence". My "normal" sober self tends to be extremely rational and
>analytical, which while very helpful for much of the work I do, isn't
>particularly conducive to creativity. I have been successfully working on
>achieving this creative state via consciously "switching" between modes.
>-James Rogers

I find that my un/sub-conscious mind is much more creative than my
analytical/conscious mind. When I've got a particularly difficult problem to
solve (lately, software analysis/design problems, but math and physics are
also amenable to this technique), I usually try to familiarize myself with
all the details, then just forget about it. Later, usually during my morning
s**t/shower/shave routine, some semblance of a solution comes to me,
completely unrequested. Happily, these gut-level/instinct solutions tend to
be pretty close to correct, and I then try to rationally justify why it is
the "best" solution. That's when discussions with my peers are the most
beneficial. A devil's advocate can be your best friend. If said advocate
can poke holes in my idea, it's usually because I hadn't grasped all of the
pertinent facts when I put the problem on the back burner. Sometime, I can
consciously incorporate these new forces into the problem, but sometimes it
requires another sleep-on-it session before I get another idea.

I've never been able to switch on the "creative" mode at will -- other than
by going to sleep, an activity that isn't encouraged in most office
situations. How do others accomplish this?


John Feiler