Forgetting and Creativity

04 Jul 2018

If we had a reasonable curve of forgetful people on the x axis, and creativity on the y axis, what would that curve look like? Assuming that we control for all other variables.

In Machine Learning, there is a very effective technique known as drop out, where you turn off random neurons in a neural network to avoid the network becoming “stuck”, or overfitting.

This technique works remarkably well that it’s used almost always in any kind of neural network to prevent this overfitting.

Isn’t there a biological equivalent in our brains? Where certain neurons are not making the connections when they are supposed to, so the brain can’t recall a specific fact or memory.

By forgetting, you’re able to replace certain aspects of that memory or concept with new ones. For example, if a human was able to recall every single picture that has graced their eyes, then that would be a severe inhibitor to creating a new picture that is based off of what they’ve seen.If a person recalls every single instance of that picture at each brain tick, it would bar them from any kind of creative modifications to that original image.

In reverse, if the person forgot every single picture that has touched the back of their eyes, they would be completely useless. Well, that’s effectively being blind. If we asked a person to create art, would their art look reasonable?

I thought not but apparently there’s a blind painter from birth. And he’s good

But is he truly “blind”? All of his ancestors who have come before him, they all have done some engraving to this brain. Even though he is blind, his ancestors were not, so I would believe that he has some sense of what the world should look like and what colors are, even if he has never seen them before.

Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.

Anyhoo, I would like to know if forgetful people are more creative. Because I am quite forgetful. But I’m not sure that I’m that creative. I sure hope so. I want to believe that the world isn’t as unfair as we think it is. That there are somethings people are inherently monsters at - it’s that there are economic inefficiencies that prevent people from finding things to do that they love.

If I have to summarize, all people probably have a stat sheet like this, similar to Pokemon: alt text

I realize that I may have gone a few tangents, but these days my thought is can be summarized as: You shouldn’t beat yourself up for not being good at something, because there’s bound to be something else that would make up for that deficiency. So you forget everything. Maybe your hella creative!