Does the Creative Pulse, a key feature of Information Dynamics, only apply to the process of creativity?
No. However, this is a natural assumption, and originally one of our personal misconceptions as well. Indeed our life-time investigation was spurred by an abiding interest in the creative process. As such we could have called this discipline the Dynamics of Creativity instead of BD. But that would be narrowing the scope of the inferences. In actuality the results apply to the grand swirl of human behavior – not just creativity.
Although the term Creative Pulse has been assigned to a mathematical model with fascinating implications, this model applies to many diverse situations besides creativity. According to CP Theory, she applies to any phenomenon associated with sustained attention. As such the Creative Pulse is associated with 'negative' as well as 'positive' creative pulses. Interruptions are employed to minimize the amplitude of the negative pulse and avoided to maximize the amplitude of the positive pulse.
The negative pulses would include runaway mob action, an anxiety attack, or spiraling into a depression. The model suggests that the right type of interruption could prevent the action from acquiring a negative peak – perhaps prevent the negative pulse from passing the threshold of destruction into a damaging realm.
Let’s explore a few examples. According to the Pulse theory negative pulses, such as the panic attacks and mob action, must be interrupted as soon as possible to avoid destructive consequences. Sometimes it’s too late – after the momentum has acquired a momentum of its own (squared, cubed, and to the power of – (just teasing to make a point)). With the mind or collective consciousness (group think) feeding uninterrupted impulses of the negative kind - feeding the rage, nourishing the anger, augmenting the fear, multiplying the racism with mental example after example (from external or internal sources – a demagogue or oneself) – the rage, anger, fear or racism builds to dangerous levels, the boiling point, when an angry person murders another, a stress case is paralyzed with anxiety, a mob lynches an innocent man, a community burns women at the stake as witches, a country goes to war, or any such nonsense. To check this frenzy before it does permanent harm the Pulse theory predicts that it must be interrupted repeatedly or for a significant time. Broken, the fever abates. The group does not attain the destructive peak past the threshold of destruction and the mob goes back to their homes – wondering what came over them to burn trusted midwifes and healers at the stake on questionable testimony from shaky sources. The Creative Pulse theory models these negative trances as well as positive possession.
In contrast the model exhibits that it is of utmost importance to avoid interruptions of any kind to the positive pulses in order to achieve the peak of inspiration and creativity. Those processes linked with the positive pulse would include any creative activity, lectures, vacations, and even certain conversations. Further the model implies that a significant break need be taken after the Pulse is past – in order to maximize the next Pulse (Sleep, vacations, and sabbaticals). Conversely it predicts the regular resurgence of violence after the initial fever has gone its course – the abusive relationship cycle.
There are many examples of the interruption mechanism in everyday life, history and literature. Re the negative pulse: Counting to ten before punching someone – the voice of reason that turns the crowd – regular meditation to still the mind of these runaway negative emotions. These diverse interruptions break the momentum of these negative thoughts, which when multiplied in succession by thought after negative thought can lead to such negative potentials. Even a simple hug at the right time can defuse the destructive potential of runaway emotions fed by a low sense of self-esteem.
For the positive pulses – creativity, any kind of project or presentation, even the calm of a vacation, or perhaps a sporting event when an athlete become hot – a significant interruption can spoil the inspiration, destroy the peace, disrupt the Zone, kill the momentum of the other team. This mechanism is institutionalized in the ubiquitous timeouts called by coaches to interrupt the flow of the opposing team – take the top off their pulse. Other examples: In a time of rising fear and the potential for panic the warrior attempts the heroic or the general gives a speech to inspire the troops to feats of valor and bravery. A ruse might work as a significant interruption – discovering Jesus’ sacred lance or supplying Dumbo with a ‘magic’ feather. These defuse the momentum of defeatism, which can lead to rout and destruction – utter annihilation.
Due to this common mechanism predicted by the Pulse theory the effective artist, speaker, or teachers attempts to setup a situation where no interruption can possibly disrupt the presentation, the creative session, or the vacation. Hawthorne isolated himself behind locked doors to complete his masterpiece. Alex Haley sailed south on a solitary boat to finish his novel. Descartes secretly traveled north to avoid his partying friends. A scientific think tank doesn’t allowing incoming calls to its researchers for fear of disturbing their creative juices. These are but a few extreme examples of the lengths that writers, philosophers and scientists will take to protect their Creative Pulse from interruption.
These intuitive solutions are neither biological, nor physical, but are instead mathematical. As Pythagoras says, it all breaks down to numbers. So scientists who spend an increasing amount of time on these diverse phenomena – examining synapses, hormones and such for a biological explanation, or exploring the subatomic for a physical theory are simply investigating symptoms rather than the root cause – shooting at decoys rather than the reality. To research the physics, the chemistry, the human anatomy, the microscopic, or the macroscopic, will, of course, reveal interesting nuances of the individual problem – possibly even identifying specific parameters. Their quest in this case is akin to Ptolemy’s myriad epicycles to describe planetary motion from a geocentric perspective – incredibly accurate, but also incredibly complex, and containing some subtle inaccuracies due to missing crucial details. Then Copernicus came along with his heliocentric conception – a solar system and planets with elliptical orbits – clearing up inaccuracies and simplifying the theory. Similarly Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory merged the diverse fields of electricity and magnetism and Mendeleyev’s discovery of the Periodic Table consolidated the myriad disconnected discoveries and theories concerning chemical interactions that preceded his work. Further this perception of the greater pattern led to the discovery of unknown elements to fill in the gaps in the table. Mathematics with her virtual numbers reigns supreme over situations controlled by the Creative Pulse – providing a plausible explanation for many fundamental and diverse phenomena. Due to the abstract and precise nature of numbers the theory can be applied to many other similar circumstances as well. God bless the mathematical model with its myriad extensions.