Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Cluttered Mind; The Links Between Creativity and 'Mess'

Largely, having untidy surroundings or possessions is seen in a negative light. This is because we perceive it to be a lack of cleanliness and order to our lives. We are wrong. Messiness is an endearing trait that suggests our minds are focused on higher things. It has been proven that people in a disorganized setting have been more inclined to break out of their comfort zone and move past what is considered 'traditional' and/or accepted. 

Sunni Brown, an author and leader of the Doodle Revolution, says that, doodling is considered "anti-intellectual" and "counter productive" because "in our society we are so focused on verbal information that we are blinded to visual information", such as the doodle. Also people who doodle when exposed to information are 29% more likely to retain that information. Having messy school books or work notes is a good thing as it demonstrates you taking preemptive measures to stop yourself from loosing your focus.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron often grabs the headlines with tales of his absent-mindedness including leaving confidential documents unguarded on a train and forgetting his young daughter in a pub. Far from off-putting, this should be considered a sign of greater things occurring under the surface.

In conflict with this idea, the anthropologist Mary Douglas noted 50 years ago that there was a connection between cleanliness and moral righteousness. What does 'moral righteousness' mean? Is this not just what our society considers to be acceptable? Are creative geniuses not often shunned for their free thinking and wild ideas? Now I leave you with a quote: 

‘You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.’
Friedrich Nietzsche

Further Reading:

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Twin Storms; Hurricanes Manuel and Ingrid

Hurricane Manuel  3:45 a.m. EDT September 19, 2013 (Image from NOAA)
On Sunday 15th September, two category 1 hurricanes battered the east and west coasts of Mexico within 24 hours of each other. There have been 80 confirmed deaths 58 missing and over 220,000 people have been affected by the storms, many of whom are tourists. The last time two hurricanes struck this close together was in 1956.

Manuel reached sustained wind speeds of 75 km/h before crashing into Guerrero Coastline. Most severely hit was the coastal resort town of Acapulco where 1000's queue for food rations and to be air lifted to safety. There have also been great problems further afield. Small villages such as Atoyac and La Pintada have been pummeled with torrential rain along with the rest of the Sinaloa state, causing flash floods and life-threatening landslides. The small fishing town of Yameto has been evacuated in preparation for the storms crossing also. Unfortunately progress is slow getting people out of these villages as one of the major highways between Acapulco and Mexico City has been cut off and bridges have been damaged.

Ingrid reached the coast late Sunday/early Monday at La Pesca in the west with top wind speeds of around 60km/h. Massive flooding has caused more than 20,000 homes to go without power and running water. There has also been looting of TV's and other goods from storms abandoned to flood waters. There is a lack of clean water and a high chance of diseases appearing in the region.

To top it all off, Hurricane Humberto, which 'dissipated' into a small tropical storm, has regained it's hurricane status and is currently situated in the center of the Pacific Ocean. This storm is not predicted to hit the shores of Mexico or any other country, however, after Manuel and Ingrid, Humberto is a little too close for comfort.

Further Reading List: