The creativity quotient (CQ) has various definitions, but is, in essence, a measure of a persons creative intelligence – the ability to produce and evaluate possible solutions to previously unsolved problems and provide new methods of solving them. e.g. See here.
It is the opposite of conformity where people accept old, often poor quality or impractical ideas which are defended by gatekeepers whose role is to criticise and eliminate the new ideas, to protect those who benefit from the old ones.
I have identified several power tools for the pallet of creative problems solving which demystify the process and make it more routine. They include (m), e.g., CR, CS, BT, (p), Ana, TO, Co&E and CED, which also provide an unchallengeable advantage over critics.
The standard practice is brainstorming where the more ideas produced, the more likely that one of them will succeed.
There are also rules to creative thought which make it easy. e.g. R&T
There are barriers to creative thought which make it unlikely or impossible. e.g. CB
Try the BRICK TEST here. In that test a person is shown an object such as a brick and asked to suggest the number of uses for it. Those who can only produce one idea have low creativity, and those who produce the most have the highest.
For comparison Wikipedia has two pages on hypochondriasis, and medically unexplained symptoms in which they suggest only one cause, namely psychological factors. They are essentially useless victim blaming nonsense written by simpletons who don’t care about the patients. By contrast I wrote a book about that topic to help people understand and control their symptoms. It contains 1000 pages of information on the physical causes, with a computer generated index to 2,500 items of evidence. See here.
Creativity is at the top of Maslow’s pyramid
According to the widely accepted concept of Abraham Maslow there is a pyramid of human needs where creativity is the highest form of development in personality.
It begins at birth where the child needs food and shelter, and progresses as they get older and begin to feel the need to belong to a group, and then to gain status and power.
Essentially, he says, that if people can’t achieve those needs at that particular time they will remain at that level, and when they do they can progress to the higher level, where self-actualisation and creativity are at the top and final stage.
During the process of development people learn how to achieve security, friends, status, and power, and the benefits which come from it, and are therefore able to think freely without impediment, and can apply the creative process to solving problems.
However, another advantage of that process is the ability to think freely by recognising the needs and motivation of those who criticise new ideas.
An introduction to my creativity
Creativity is a way of thinking – networked, rather than train-tracked
The brain is a computer where it is more efficient to have 1000 ideas in one mans head than it is to have one idea each in a 1000 heads because the communication of ideas is unimpeded by distance and language.
In 1982, when I first met Tony Sedgewick, the head the South Australian Institute for Fitness Research and Training, I told him that six years earlier, in 1976, I had participated in an exercise program at his institute, and had to modify it to make it suitable for my ailment. I also explained that since then I had found that the world’s top researchers were not able to get patients to do regular exercise for long enough to get useful research data on it’s effects, but that if they did it my way, they would succeed.
I also explained that it was generally regarded as a mental illness, and that I could scientifically prove that it was physical.
He then asked me to follow him to the corner of his office where he had a book shelf, and took out a book, and read me a quote from “The Prince”, by sixteenth century author Machiavelli. I told him that I was familiar with that quote, but that i had problems to solve, and had to solve them regardless, and as such, I wasn’t bothered by such considerations.
The Machiavelli quote can be seen after my comments below . . .
(I can say from personal experience that most people encourage and respect new ideas, but Machiavelli’s observation is an accurate representation of how society as a whole treats change)
“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.” (end of quote).
In other respects the person who produces new ideas may have very hostile and determined enemies who will attack them at the slightest sign of weakness, and luke warm supporters who will abandon them at the slightest sign of danger.
A good example of that can be seen in my review of the life of Semmelweis here.
Another example is where psychiatrists don’t want to publicly admit that their profession began with the mistaken belief that nineteenth century women had a tendency to faint because of their emotional weakness and delicacy, when in fact, they fainted in response to the slightest heat, noise, effort, or emotion, because they wore tight waisted corsets which reduced the blood flow between their feet and their brain. They relieved their fainting spells by unlacing their corsets, and laying down to allow the blood to flow freely again. See here.
Another example – The Wheel?
The wheel is one of the most important inventions in human history which has brought about major changes to transportation and other major aspects of modern life, and yet it seems simple and obvious now. However, it does take someone to be the first to “see” and “describe” the obvious. Anything comparable to that has similar importance.
However, when I presented my theory and research conclusions to Wikipedia two anonymous editors soon set up a brand new page where their purpose was to have it deleted. The first two sentences of criticism are quoted below, and were followed by almost an entire year of criticism of almost every word I wrote.
This is a quote from a discussion in Wikipedia about my theory and research . . .
“The section on “posture” isn’t working for me. Nobody outside of the The theory looks like it was created by a non-medical person who is trying to reinvent the wheel — the “wheel” being garden variety orthostatic intolerance and hyperventilation syndrome. I’d like to remove the last few paragraphs of the “History” section, beginning from the words “From 1982-1983…” Does anyone here — that is, anyone here except Banfield, who has a clearconflict of interest in judging the merits and notability of his own work — object? WhatamIdoing 01:08, 21 December 2007
- No objection here. Nothing I can find in real medical literature sugests it merits such undue space, and I agree about the COI of his expounding anything to do with his own theory in this article. I’ve posted a note to that effect at User talk:Posturewriter; if necessary, it can go to WP:COI/N.Gordonofcartoon (talk) 02:16, 21 December 2007 ” (end of quotes here).
Reinventing the wheel?
I didn’t re-invent anything, but developed good ideas based on accurate observations and reliable information from excellent sources.
Those two editors acted like experts on the topic, but neither of them knew anything worth knowing as can be seen in one of their comments a year later, in the discussion where they managed to get me banned. My main critic admitted that they “Intially . . . didn’t know much about Da Costa’s syndrome”. see here.
However, throughout the history of the topic there have been more than 100 different labels for it, not just the jargonistic Orthostatic intolerance, or the misnomer of Hyperventilations syndrome.
Furthermore my theory of a postural cause may be the only one which has thoroughly investigated that aspect, but there is a massive amount of evidence for it which has been widely reported for more than a century.
This is a quote from Paul Wood who was Britains top researcher on the topic of Da Costa’s syndrome in 1956, and one of the world experts about the chest pain . . .
“It is immediately abolished by injecting 2ml of novocaine . . . This indicates that it is not refered pain, but arises locally in muscle . . . It may be initiated by strain of certain muscular attachments involved in such actions as cranking an engine or lifting a heavy weight . . . or by faulty posture.
Although he did not pursue that evidence he did provide a portrait of a patient which showed the “typical” thin, and “stooped” physique.
You can see that my two critics didn’t know enough about the topic to to see those types of comments which were often made in the early twentieth century, and that their knowledge was, as they say, as ignorant as fools who get all of their information from this mornings newspapers.Their arrogant comments also present some questions, such as these . . .
1. If I have reinvented something as important as the wheel, then who wrote “The Posture Theory” before me?
2. What was their name, when did they invent it, and where was it published.
3. If it is such a widely known idea (i.e. notable), then why hasn’t someone already added a page about it in Wikipedia.
4. Why haven’t those two editors added it before I did??
5. There are many other pages in Wikipedia which contain bits and pieces of my theory scattered throughout many other topic pages in an unco-ordinated and disorderly manner, so whey aren’t each of those individual items deleted as rubbish.
6. They spent 12 months arguing that my ideas were nonsense, but if so, then why don’t they call the wheel nonsense, and delete all mention of it.
I could add more, but the fact is that those two editors will just keep on “inventing” excuses for what they have said and the mistakes they have made in the past, and will continue in the same utterly ridiculous way in the future.
Some biographical comments
When I was young several people called me creative, for reasons which I didn’t fully recognise, but at the age of 19 I was offered three scholarships to study a course called Group Work (group psychology) at the South Australian Institute of Technology.
I accepted one, and in about the second year of the four year part time course, the students were set a mid term assignment.
After submitting mine, the head lecturer, Irene Holloway, invited me into her office to discuss it. She asked me what book I used to get the ideas, and I told her that I didn’t get them from any books, but simply answered the questions which had been set based on my observations at the time.
She then looked rather astonished and told me that I was the most creative person who she had ever met, and added that one day my ideas would probably have an influence on the way the world thought of humanity.
When I completed the course and gained a certificate for that subject she encouraged me to complete the study for a further two years full time, and gain a degree, but I had other plans, so I didn’t.
She continued her own education in that area of study, and eventually gained the title of Dr. Irene Holloway.
A few years later I began experiencing significant problems with my health which had been accumulating in number since I was a teenager, and were becoming intolerable, but were not responding to any form of treatment, so I began to study the medical literature to determine the cause and treat them myself.
I already had some clues to the cause because when I was about 22 years old I had been transferred to a job where all I had to do all day was sit at a desk and count coins into piles of 20, and calculate the totals. However, by about three o-clock in the afternoon I would notice an ache in my left kidney each time I leaned forwards, and by 4 o-clock I would get aches in my right kidney as well, and some months later I was diagnosed and treated for stones in my left kidney.
Within a year or two I also probably injured my abdomen in the gym, but it didn’t seem to cause any pain in further activities until much later. In the meantime I noticed that after starting work as a clerk at 9 a.m., that by about 10 a.m. I was getting an ache in my upper abdomen each time I leaned toward the desk.
However, nothing showed up on x-rays to explain that pain, and although I was prescribed numerous medications, none of them had any effect on relieving the problem.
Then one day I was doing some routine clerical work, when by about 10 a.m. in the morning I leaned toward the desk and felt faint, so I sat upright again, and the faintness stopped, and then I leaned forward and felt faint again, and then sat up, and the faintness passed. I then consulted my doctor. I asked him how leaning forward could cause me to feel faint, and he said that he didn’t know.
By that stage my symptoms were so numerous, and causing me so many problems, that I knew, that even though I was just an ordinary person, and not a doctor, that I would have to start studying medicine and determine the cause for myself.
I began by learning the basics, and reading books of anatomy, and was eventually able to determine that leaning forward was probably pushing my kidneys forward and kinking the tubes leading out from them, and blocking the flow of fluid which damed up and caused the aching in the kidneys.
I was also able to conclude that leaning forward was also compressing my sternum into the area between my food pipe and stomach and producing some of the abdominal pain, although there were several other possibilities, including the fact the fact that I may have an abdominal injury which is being aggravated by that process. (not all abdominal injuries are detectable).
I also concluded that leaning forward was placing my head and shoulders over and above my chest and preventing the full upward expansion of my lungs when I breathed, and eventually damage the process and function of breathing to cause the breathlessness.
During the fourth year I read some information about a scientific procedure called Valsalva’s maneuver, where an increase in the pressure in the chest also compresses the blood vessels, and slows the flow of blood between the feet and brain.
I then concluded that leaning forward was compressing the air in my chest, which explained the symptom of faintness, but it also explained the associated tiredness, and unstable blood pressure which I had at that time.
I further concluded that there would be changes in blood flow which would effect the capacity for exertion, and was then able to write one essay which explained all of the main symptoms, and I have since called it The Posture Theory.
I later determined why I had so many problems of that nature, and others didn’t, and it was because I had an abnormal forward curvature in my upper spine, and an abnormal forward arch in my lower spine, sideways curvature of the spine, and an abnormal chest shape which meant that my sternum was inclined backwards instead of forward, so that each time I leaned forward I was bending at the waist, instead of my hips, and compressing my chest and abdomen in the process.
Also, during the early years I developed methods of exercising at my own rate to manage the exercise limitations, and I developed methods of arranging my daily and weekly routine as a means of preventing fatigue from becoming unmanageable.
One day I met a friend of mine named Clive Thelning. He was blind, but despite that had completed the same course as me in Group Work several years earlier, which was where I first met him, and he had continued his studies and become a psychologist.
He asked me what I had been doing and I didn’t want to tell him, because I had found and proven that my own symptoms had a physical cause (poor posture) but I had also become aware that the major medical theories on that subject were that the cause was psychological, and I had essentially, but unintentionally proven them wrong.
However, he persisted with his questions, so I eventually told him, and expected that he might be skeptical, or even angry.
Nevertheless, he was a very good friend of mine, but even so, I was a bit surprised when he showed a keen interest in the ideas. and invited me to a meeting of the Lions club which was where one of his friends was Tony Sedgewick who was the head of the South Australian Institute of Fitness Research and Training. I didn’t think that there was much to be achieved by me, a medically unqualified person, meeting the head of a research organisation, but he insisted, so I eventually phoned him and made an appointment.
Within a few minutes of meeting him in his office it was apparent that he was very interested in what I had to say, and that my lack of medical qualifications didn’t bother him at all, and within a month or two, he asked me to design and co-ordinate a research program to study the affects of exercise on chronic fatigue, and within two years I had scientifically proven that the ailment had a physical basis, and that some of the patients could and did benefit from a regular moderate exercise program, as long as they participated at their own level and improved at their own rate.
I submitted a research paper to two medical journals to describe my methods, and the success of the project, but it was not accepted for publication so I put it in my filing cabinet.
However, I knew that some unscrupulous individuals would see the opportunity of copying the ideas, and getting them published in medical journals so that they could claim the credit, so I tried to get a report in newspapers.
I therefore contacted a freelance journalist in Melbourne, who confirmed the details by phoning the head of the research institute in Adelaide, and then prepared a report, presumably to be sent to Australian and International newspapers.
I checked the newspapers available in my local newsagent and found items in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Courier Mail (from Queensland), and The West Australian.
About a year later, I travelled by bus to the Adelaide University library to check some facts, and sat next to a man in his early 30’s. I asked him what he did, and he said that he was a university student, and then he asked me what I did. I said that I was trying to solve a few problems, and he asked me how I did that, so I said that I just thought up ideas and evaluated them to determine if they were consistent with the evidence or not.
He said that he would be lucky to think up one idea in a year, and that if he wasn’t trying to pass an exam he probably wouldn’t think of any.
I had just thought of more than a dozen before breakfast, and on some days more than 100, and that was the first time in my life that I knew what people meant when they said that I was creative.
Since then I have been aware of the advantages in research and have developed that natural aptitude. Max Banfield