Many highly creative people [display] personal behavior [that] sometimes strikes others as odd. Albert Einstein picked up cigarette butts off the street to get tobacco for his pipe; Howard Hughes spent entire days on a chair in the middle of the supposedly germ-free zone of his Beverly Hills Hotel suite; the composer Robert Schumann believed that his musical compositions were dictated to him by Beethoven and other deceased luminaries from their tombs; and Charles Dickens is said to have fended off imaginary urchins with his umbrella as he walked the streets of London.
In fact, creativity and eccentricity often go hand in hand, and researchers now believe that both traits may be a result of how the brain filters incoming information. Even in the business world, there is a growing appreciation of the link between creative thinking and unconventional behavior, with increased acceptance of the latter. …
In the past few decades psychologists and other scientists have explored the connection using empirically validated measures of both creativity and eccentricity. [The latter is measured] using scales that assess schizotypal personality … which is among a cluster of personality disorders labeled ‘odd or eccentric’ in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
A brain-imaging study, done in 2010 by investigators at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, suggests the propensity for both creative insights and schizotypal experiences may result from a specific configuration of neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. Using positron-emission tomography, Örjan de Manzano, Fredrik Ullén and their colleagues examined the density of dopamine D2 receptors in the subcortical region of the thalamus in 14 subjects who were tested for divergent-thinking skills. The results indicate that thalamic D2 receptor densities are diminished in subjects with high divergent-thinking abilities, similar to patterns found in schizophrenic subjects in previous studies. The researchers believe that reduced dopamine binding in the thalamus, found in both creative and schizophrenic subjects, may decrease cognitive filtering and allow more information into conscious awareness."
— Fascinating Scientific American article on why creative people tend to be eccentric. For real-life case studies, look no further than the odd habits and eccentric behaviors of famous writers. (via explore-blog)
Someone might be well-versed in social justice issues, may have read all the literature, might be really good at organizing people. Maybe others look up to them, maybe they’re an “expert”. Maybe they’re a social media wizard.
But maybe they’re also condescending. Maybe they’re aggressively self-centred. Fighting the “good fight” does not give anybody a free pass to be a shitty person. Oh, so you can analytically unpack institutionalized racism - clearly that means you can talk down to people who know less than you. OH you understand the nuances and intricacies of mental health issues - please, go ahead and eschew any opportunities for constructive criticism about yourself because everyone else is wrong, and you are always right.
When a poisonous personality bleeds into activism, it is frustrating. There is a difference between anger and hate. Hate is about destruction. Anger is about change. (see: Audre Lorde, Uses of Anger) When one person’s hate is masquerading as anger, it discredits all of us who are really angry. It makes a mockery of those of us who want real, lasting change.
Come here, armed with your anger, ready to do the hard things.
Do not come here, filled with your hate, pretending to be a team player when really you’re only looking out for #1.
— Christian Aldana (a beautiful, beautiful lady and friend)
(Source: , via explore-blog)