New York Times – How Nonsense Sharpens the Intellect

06mind-650Great article in the New York Times today.  Absurdity, it seems, can be a healthy catalyst for learning and personal development.

“We’re so motivated to get rid of that feeling that we look for meaning and coherence elsewhere,” said Travis Proulx, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and lead author of the paper appearing in the journal Psychological Science. “We channel the feeling into some other project, and it appears to improve some kinds of learning.”

Researchers found that those who are exposed to absurd things or stories are more likely to strive to find patterns, typically to regain footing with something that fits in to our normal framework (read whole article for full details). It’s interesting because throughout the book, Permanent Temporary, I filtered the chaos of the circumstances around me, focusing on the patterns that emerged, uncovering all sorts of unexpected ideas.

The article continues… “The new research supports what many experimental artists, habitual travelers and other novel seekers have always insisted: at least some of the time, disorientation begets creative thinking.”

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