Creativity is Anti-Environmental

childdMarshall McLuhan’s book, The Medium is the Massage, mentions many important, logical, and relevant truths in our society today which he had written decades ago. These truths can truly enlighten us on what is preventing society to advance or how can society advance. McLuhan mentions an important eye-opening realization that I have had in the back of my mind which he has allowed me to entertain. The idea of humans losing their creativity by the influence of media, or at least by some sort of medium. Either through precedents of obtaining information or knowledge or by being influenced by the media in such a way that a person might think what they are doing can no way be right.

McLuhan uses the example of a brilliant chemist and one of the great founders of modern physics who is none other than Michael Faraday. McLuhan writes, “Michael Faraday, who had little mathematics and no formal schooling beyond the primary grades, is celebrated as an experimenter who discovered the induction of electricity”( McLuhan 92). This quote is all I needed to entertain the possibility of how society influences people to be a certain way. For example, if you want to do research in biochemistry or find a cure to a disease, society demands you to earn a degree and even a PhD. We learn that we need to take this class, and then this upper level class, and so on just to partake in a specific field. Which is why I believe Faraday went against those precedents of partaking in difficult sciences and not investing time into the upper level mathematics like calculus just to come up with something new. Faraday used his raw creativity and the basic knowledge of the natural sciences to come up with the greatest theories of his time. Imagine if you had knowledge of the fundamental or basic things in your field and not having the knowledge of anything more, so no knowledge of those “advanced” theories, you would be so much more creative because you would conjure up theories or information by using the basics of that specific field without being discouraged by the advanced theories of others. I believe Faraday’s lack of higher level mathematics and sciences allowed him to come up with simple theories that did not require calculus to do, if he had grew up with the influence of calculus and incorporating so much information in his theories he would question himself maybe this is too simple of a theory.

We are brought up as kids to go to school from such a young age up until we are adults, learning about so many different things, but when it comes to applying ourselves in a field of interest we tend to draw blanks when the time comes. This is due to losing our creativity of how we once wondered about the world. We are taught so many different scientific theories, some changing though the years, that we tend to think our theories must be nothing compared to the theories of these great scientists. Curing cancer has been such an important area of research that society has spent so much money still to find a cure. Now Imagine someone with just a basic knowledge of biology he might be able to theorize cures of what is the problem what might be the cause, but we get discouraged and lose our creativity because of our external environment. We have high eminent scientists in these fields, if they cannot find a cure how can someone like me? This is a perfect example of how our external environment and even the media affect our creativity in such a way that we are losing so much talent in this world. McLuhan put it best when he stated “Amateurism is anti-environmental”( McLuhan 92).

Footnotes”

McLuhan, Marshall, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel. The Medium Is the Massage. New York: Bantam, 1967. Print.

Paul, Annie M. “Are We Wringing the Creativity Out of Kids?” MindShift. N.p., 04 May 2012. Web. 05 Feb. 2015.

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3 thoughts on “Creativity is Anti-Environmental”

  1. Wow, this is gold and so true. I also believe that societal norms push out so much of the people we are and mold us into what is acceptable for society such as going to school and do this and that to get to where you want to be. Faraday’s story is evidence that you don’t have to be the smartest person with PHD’s in this and that to solve a problem or think of a revolutionary idea such as electricity. I think those that keep who they are and differentiate themselves from the norm are the most original and creative people because you’re not worrying about is this cool or is this how it’s done. They think for themselves and this is how I would do this or that and if they genuinely enjoy something that isn’t seen as “cool” they have a passion and drive for that and won’t be held back by the restraints of society. Really great blog post.

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  2. I love how there is a long history/trend of this worlds greatest masterminds and inventors having poor records in tradition school (ie. Albert Einstein). I agree with your post about how humans are becoming less creative…almost more robotic. Seems like every time I need to learn how to do something, my first instinct is “I’ll just Google it.” Although this is a good source for information, it is not a source of creativity or true discovery.

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  3. I couldn’t agree more. We let the “theories” of others guide our way of looking at things, potentially away from answer we may be looking for. As helpful as it is to be knowledgeable in a particular field, you almost have to master everyone else’s ideas before you can begin to develop your own. You did a great job of illustrating your point. And I thought your title and picture were great. Well done!

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