Thursday, November 15, 2012

article post: not running away from a problem ..?

from "uncertainty, innovation, and the alchemy of fear"
by jonathan fields (@ the99%), found on 13 may 2012.
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.. "People who tolerate ambiguity may be able to work effectively on a larger set of stimuli or situations, including ambiguous ones, whereas intolerant individuals will avoid or quickly stop treating such information.”

Problem is, with rare exception, when faced with the need to live in the question, most people, creators included, experience anything from unease to abject fear and paralyzing anxiety. And there’s a neuroscience basis. According to fMRI studies, acting in the face of uncertainty lights up a part of the brain known as the amygdala, which is a primary seat of fear and anxiety. That sends a surge of chemicals through our bodies that makes us want to run.

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interesting choice of words: "living in the question," as if the problem causes you to live in your own little world .. which does agree with my experience, admittedly.

quite a few times, i had to convince myself that i should just try something .. no matter how stupid: just the first idea that comes to mind, anything. if by chance it works, then the problem stops: great! if it fails, however, then typically it does so for a very good reason, so if i understand why, then the next attempt will be more likely to work, and so on ..

as they say, sometimes solving the problem doesn't matter so much as learning about the problem, and finding interesting things.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

"lights up ... the amygdala" is the biggest weasel phrase in all of neuroimaging. It's just a giant Rorschach test. We don't know exactly what the amygdala does outside of something related to emotions and memory. Almost anything that evokes an emotional or hormonal response will light up the amygdala. Porn, graphic violent images, puppies, coca-cola and uncertainty all light up the amygdala. That provides you with precisely zero insight into how the brain is processing the stimulus.