People who are naturally anxious worry about social blunders and vague threats. This changes their behavior, personality, and lifestyle. Stress avoidance makes people more complex, with arbitrary hang-ups and obsessions.
Neurotic behavior has a reason. Without such forced specializations, life would flow more smoothly. Everyone would be more or less the same, and predictable.
Neurosis is a crude method to force diversity. Like a pearl, it starts with a seemingly unsolvable problem.
New ideas can be generated by combining unexpectedly similar ideas, and allowing overlapping, oversimplified thoughts to deal with them.
Creativity is error-tolerant, suggesting a deeper order:
. . . If everyone is pulled toward the center of the earth, they shouldn’t feel it spinning. The same math can describe political economy and eugenic evolution. The fourth dimension may be understood by imagining Flatland. Everything can be simplified to ones and zeroes . . .
Another creativity mechanism is dreams. Most individuals live boring, repetitive lives. Dreams generate some unpredictability, filling short term memory with false memory fragments. They’re soon forgotten, but some weak connections remain. These can be strengthened if similarly unpredictable events occur in waking life.
You don’t have to be extremely intelligent to be extremely creative. Some types of innovation may take long-term obsessions, the mind getting stuck on something. Instead of advancing through abstractions, they are held back to first principles. Richard Feynman’s IQ was said to have been under 150.
Ultra-high IQ individuals are like universal problem solving machines, the skills needed to perfect multistage rockets or shrink hard drives and circuits.
Without them we’d be stuck in a pre-industrial age, though there might still be gentlemen farmers and scholars.
Intelligence is the energy to think further. This takes a big brain. Each added insight in a chain of thoughts becomes exponentially harder. Inability may be disguised as laziness. Intelligence is the number of thoughts that can be contained at once.
Fortunately, humans have evolved intelligence extensions to allow ‘smaller’ brains to perform this function.
First came language, the start of the creation of a group mind. Then came writing, increasing the number of facts a single brain could manipulate and keep track of.
Word processing software like Notepad made it easier to rearrange and recombine ideas.
Next will come mind extension software, starting as a permanent companion that will seek to identify and to automate common tasks, as it slowly becomes smarter and more closely integrated.