Preconditions for Genius
A novel, hierarchical model of creativity.

Within every creative individual must reside an ability to recognize patterns across domains. It is this general ability (g), that enables one to — in part — posit potential truths and verify their postulations by producing, or creating something that proves their understanding. In short, creativity can be understood as an expression of awareness. Further, the other traits needed for creativity to occur are deviance and conscientiousness. Conscientiousness is needed for creativity because the act of expressing one's awareness requires work: a willingness to test and demonstrate that their findings are correct — i.e., are true to, or compatible with reality. Deviance is needed for creativity because without the tendency to operate in aberrant ways one could not infer any patterns that aren't readily observable: they'd never think that they could think for themselves — in fact, one couldn't even be self-aware, as self-reflection requires a disposition to looks inwards, which today, is an act so deviant it is typically only prompted by one's environment when they're engaging with philosophical texts — which too, is a somewhat deviant act.
Each of these traits, when possessed to a sufficiently high degree, can combine with one another to form a new, previously nonexistent trait. An example of this phenomenon would be the way in which g and deviance may combine together to form abstraction: the ability to derive concepts from patterns, or, extract the meaning from the associations that one might be exposed to. In humans, a high ability for abstraction often causes one to appear as schizoid, autistic, or eccentric, although most people who are these things aren't great at abstracting, those who are do tend to be these things. The apparent mixing of the two groups is due to the fact that most people aren't great abstractors: they lack the ability to deviate from conditioned responses in any meaningful way, and in turn, cannot recognize meaningful distinctions between those who diverge from the norm to the same degree. Undoubtedly, this fact has caused many troubles, for — being equally resistant to social conditioning — in most situations psychopaths and geniuses will appear as identical to conformists (Lord have mercy on the agreeable). Furthermore, while abstraction is useful because it allows one to produce the occasional good idea, it can be harmful because ideas that aren't tested, and rigorously tried against reality either are, or quickly become indistinguishable from delusions. Which is why for creativity, abstraction must coexist with another trait: verification.
Verification is the ability that results when one is sufficiently high in both g and conscientiousness; it is what allows one to authenticate a premise, implement the behaviors needed to test a hypothesis, and determine what is and is not sensible: i.e, discern truth. Persons who are low in this ability — that is, are unconscientious, and low-to-average in g — are unable to test the validity of complex ideas, and are unwilling to affirm the ideas that they may be able to understand, or produce. These people are often either relativists or outright reality deniers, and when they are also comparatively capable abstractors, tend towards schizophrenic and antisocial attitudes. Additionally, the process whereby one's ability for verification is obstructed and they begin to transition from a normal, or creative person to a relativist and a psychopath is typically brought about by one thing: drugs. Frequent use of psychoactive substances tend to cause the cognitive unusualness inherent to high deviance, but at the cost of lowering g and conscientiousness, which over time, causes one to become psychologically unhinged enough to produce unethical ideas, but too unintelligent to spot their errors, and too unconscientious to resist acting on the majority of their thoughts. Thus, while enabling drug use remains the best way to render a populace docile and without strong views — barring the advent of rank, excessive socialization (the real opiate of the masses) — it is at the cost of escalating numbers of delusional and destructive persons, many of whom will go untreated due to the growing number of truth indifferent persons surrounding them.
To summarize, creativity — being an expression of awareness — is a synthesis between two and three traits: verification and abstraction: conscientiousness, pattern recognition, and deviance. And to elaborate, deviance represents the extent that one is an outlier variation of their type, and conscientiousness represents the extent that one is prone to seek order. Both deviance and conscientiousness can combine with g to form new traits. Together, g and deviance form abstraction, conscientious and g form verification, and all of them form creativity: the ability to produce new and useful constructions of reality. And to provide some examples, the dynamics of creativity are universally consistent: molecules of varying types can recognize each other and organize to form cells; cells of varying types can cohere to form organs; organs assemble to form organisms, and some organisms are genius. Additionally, at each level of organization new abilities are gained but drawbacks are developed also: unlike molecules, cells can respirate and replicate but can also become cancerous, and unlike cells, organs can form respiratory systems but can also amass tumors, and unlike organs, humans can develop into geniuses and psychopaths. Likewise, a dichotomy of functions is preserved at each developmental stage also: cancer cells, tumors, and psychopaths each tend to reproduce and behave with no regard for the livelihood of the system that they're embedded. Contrastingly, functioning cells, lungs and geniuses tend to work as filtration devices, inhaling the troubles of the world and emanating its inhabitable form. In other words — and to conclude — geniuses are the diaphragms of society.
(cue maniacal laughter)

Text Author: Antjuan Finch

Published: March 26th, 2019

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