Tag Archive: creative


Everything that goes through any of our senses is stored in our memory as a mental picture.

It uses our occipital cortex. So, don’t scratch the top of your head if you can’t recall. It happens behind your head!

Just google “visual memory” and countless search pages will show up with miracle recipes on how to improve it.

This is totally uninteresting to me. However, I often take a quick look at all those self-help things, then discard 99% of them.

What is interesting is how our brain works, and thorough studies, serious stuff won’t appear on the first search page. Go further.

I find it fascinating that our memory transforms everything into a mental image. Vivid, exaggerated, lurid, hilarious… Unexpected ways are to be expected!

One of the most important aspects of it, is that if you aren’t actively participating in memorizing, your “file” (memory) will be lost somewhere into some random place you can’t easily recall, or can’t recall at all. Unlike computers, we have no indexing and search option available to find where our file is.

Actively participating means “abstracting” the (usually) boring stuff. You’ll need to find ways to get mnemotechnic in remembering things. It will take some time and practice, but it is worth the sweat!

If you just absorb, you are not memorizing. You are listening, watching, smelling… but not memorizing.

When memorizing, don’t lay on a couch and repeat ad nauseam the same thing, hoping it will get into your memory. You have to add emotion to it to work properly.
Being on a couch is not what I call an emotional trigger (unless you get laid, but that’s another story).

Stand up. Read aloud. Repeat each syllable many times. Let the music come.

Don’t worry, your music will anyway be associated with a mental image. Not a mere image, but a mental one. Those are discrete things!

I hope that by now, you start figuring out why I called this post “our memory is a GUI”. Yes, it is a graphical user interface. Touch this icon / click on it, and it will react.
An icon is an object which has properties. Exactly like our memory.

I am still studying this overlooked aspect of our memorizing process, so expect an update or another post as soon as I have new and relevant content.

Meanwhile, know that nobody has a bad memory. If you want to have a really hard time remembering faces, events, sounds, etc, keep saying to yourself that your memory is poor, or bad, or that you suck.

I encourage you to do your own search. I want us to discuss and debate around this topic.

Well. I’m going to find ways to memorize five high-level programming languages. I’ll focus primarily on Objective-C.

The meaning, the syntax, the words or signs used all have some potential for visual memorizing. What can I do with @synthesize ? Split it into syllables and repeat them until I find a way to relate what is on my screen to what it means. Make music out of it (“synth” could already be “synthesizer”. Or maybe should I try to merge “sin”, “in”, “the”, “size and visualize a huge cock)?

I told you that the more exaggerated, gory or porn, the better and easier to remember. Summarize it into a vivid mental image (not an image like a photo) and link it to its meaning (meanings aren’t obvious in programming). That is why Stanford has a “programming abstractions” course, in my opinion.

Again, don’t merely absorb, but stand up (to stay alert) and actively participate in memorizing.

In those big “memory contests”, they give you energizing beverages. It is not a coincidence, is it?

 

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What I mean by a “borrowed parallel paradigm” is that a paradigm out of my field of study or biz can help me shape – or reshape- my thinking and my doing.
It broadens my vision, or help me see the world through new lenses.

If I use Apple’s biz paradigm (mainly, a platform, to be studied) to improve my creative musician skills, it’s a win. However, it is not easy to draw parallel lines with those unrelated areas.

To create, to innovate, to shape, call it what you want, you need to borrow or shamelessly steal from unrelated industries, areas, businesses -even if the models are outdated- to make your very own product, be it a symphony or a startup.

That’s what Google does, what Amazon does, what a schmazillion of other successful people do. They succeed at what they aim for.
Success is not a one-size-fits-all word!

A pattern can be transposed successfully if applied in a clever way. If you stay in your area, you are likely to learn nothing. If you go where everyone else goes, you end up doing what everyone does. Is it what you want?

Picasso famously said that great artists steal. Is Picasso a great artist? This up to you to judge. The statement is true, though.

Today, the word artist has a broader meaning. A VP or a CEO can be artists, not because they are hobbyist painters or musicians, but because they -the succesful ones- totally pour themselves into what they do. Stravinsky used to say that a succesful piece of art is 99% work!

As far as I am concerned: I come from a very complex background.

I am a musician. That is the core of my being. 26 years of mayhem, and counting!

I sing, I play snare drum, timpani, vibraphone, drums, cello, viola da gamba, guitar, harpsichord, piano, organ… All those instruments have one thing in common: they require the use of fingers (in this case, parallels are drawn quite easily. Starting small is not a bad thing), and demand a very high degree of commitment.
I also produce, edit, mix and master. I started as a FOH engineer, but moved on to my comfy studio more as my back pain increased with FOH muck work. I am now settled.

However, I read business books, blogs about education, biographies, I love CDs and LPs artwork and do my own, I hang around with TED speakers, I study iOS programming and programming abstractions (courtesy of Stanford University). I read other people Ph.Ds’ stuff, too, no matter the subject.

How does all that relate? How does one model applies to the other to foster creativity? I’m diligently working on it.

Easy is not a word I can use to describe that task. I have to learn critical thinking, which is not taught at school/college.

I have to ask for mentorship, sometimes. I have to ask myself the right questions. It’s exhausting, and I already wanted to throw the towel many times. I didn’t, because I’m passionate about what I do.

Of course, it is easy to get lost into all those unrelated areas. Focus on your primary one and look around. How can you improve or change your existing model?

Borrow paradigms. Shamelessly. The more unrelated, the better.
Get the broadest scope you can get, yet keep in mind that you want to raise the bar of your primary activity, foster creativity and get smarter at what you do.

One last thing: don’t lose sight of your own goals.

I’d love to hear from you. You are encouraged to share your experiences and thoughts. Your personal info will never be shared.

I don’t always do it, but when I do…

There’s no return once I enter “The Zone”.

What is unique in my case is that the music I listen to when writing is as useful to me as a (humble) writer and as a musician. Perhaps even more as a musician.

I have the feeling that my writing and the music I listen to while writing produce a third entity: My own music.

I always make sure that there are lyrics, preferably in another language than the one in which I type. Also, I need complex, substance-rich music.

Simple sloppy chord strumming is not at all acceptable. It’s indigent.

A clear and real-world example would be… Meshuggah or Opeth as both have a really high level of abstraction and intricacy. The only “drawback” is that their lyrics are in english (some swedish ones for Opeth, though).

I’d rather have some fully instrumental stuff then… Like ISIS or ITTCT (If These Trees Could Talk.

Men när jag bloggar på svenska/danska/norska/isländska eller franska passar det jättebra.

Det har varit ett tag sedan jag bloggade på svenska här, fy fan!

Är inte helt sikker att det finns ingen skrivefeiler.

So, here it is, how I get into the Zone. What is incredible is that my Zone is kind of ubiquitous (in my life).

If I head on to write a blog post, I end up with a song, a drawing, a new cake recipe and… You get the idea.

Music as a trigger uses 25+ years of brain wires, and even creates new ones.

There’s magic in this.

Creative Visuals coming your way!

Since my last post, I’ve been discussing the pros and cons of the video résumé.

People from very diverse fields gave their insight and opinion.

Before going further…

Consider this: the way you look, the way you talk, care about your kids, are all parts of your résumé. Please don’t forget that.

What matters is WHO you are as an individual. Forget about endless lists of what you did. It really doesn’t matter.

The past is gone. Do not try to replicate it, too. It is the “safest path to frustration and failure”. This is a weird sentence I coined during a discussion.

So, we gathered, discussed and came to several conclusions and ideas:

-Your résumé has to be thought. You cannot throw out a total improvisation.
You will be lost if you have no clue where you are, where you want to be and how to follow the roadmap YOU create.

Be creative and realistic.

Do you remember when I wrote that honest signals cannot be faked?

-A video résumé is not easy to do, but easier than you may think (the old model is awkward and totally supreme mega boring.)

You have to come to the highest level of clarity about yourself.

You’re not hiding behind a page, you’re in front of the video camera and there is where magic can happen! It’s your chance to get what you deserve: being seen and heard! It’s like public speaking.

Do not hesitate to “practice”. I highly recommend it. Record as many videos as possible… Compare. What’s cool? What sucks?

Do not worry about editing your video.
Worrying can cripple your work (which is actually your ART!)

-Imagine that you are asked to answer a questionnaire. Just that. Better than the old stuff, eh?

Now imagine that you have to reply to it with a video… And that you have 120 seconds. (120 seconds = 6 questions. Don’t fret, it’s OK.)

Words: 7%
Intonation: 38%
Gesture: 55%

Those are the % of the message you send.

The % of what matters the most to a employer/biz owner (they are not all greedy morons…) are different, and there is no rule for it!

Do not forget this. Never.

-What about something so compelling that you will astound everyone with how much of your (true) self you’ve put in?

Make a “whole package”. A résumé and a portfolio!

Sounds good to you?

It sounds fabulous to me.

Think about this. Think deeply.
Don’t feel like shit if you don’t come up with your best piece of art ever in the first place. It never happens overnight!

Discussions are still going on, and more is brought to the table everyday.

I believe that time is the father of all truth. We’ll see what happens next!

It always happens for a reason.

In this case, it’s because we’ve made a conscious choice of making it happen!

I promise you all the inside scoop and the juicy details in the next post. Stay tuned.

Happy to be stuck with what I’m not content with.

My technical issues are not fixed, but I persist and write.

How many folks would have yelled at an unanimated object because it doesn’t work the way they want it to (cf. my previous blog entry)?

Honestly, I have no clue.

Instead of always saying “that sucks!”, I’m asking myself how to solve the problem. It is way more interesting (and rewarding, also).

Of course, if you are a couch potato… You can still grumble and stuff yourself with junk food to tame your rage.

Hey, before going further: I am not targeting anybody or making any kind of discrimination. Relax!

Let’s keep it rolling:

I’m sure that THIS moment in life, when creativity stands out, and parts ways with all the rest…YOU experienced it.

Seize it everytime it happens (you can even make it happen instead of waiting for it).

Creativity is ingrained in each of us. When it can come out and make a change, don’t stop it out of being laughed at or out of any kind of fear.

I’m not lecturing you. I’m remembering me what is smart!

And I share it with you.

I hope I’m making sense so far. If not, comments are welcome.

No, I don’t beg for some.

So, let’s wrap up things: If you are stuck and content with it, you’re hurting yourself. Do not cry, do not yell, do not break anything. Do not be rude to anyone without explanations.

If you realize that there is an alternative to being content with an issue, you’ve made a quantum leap towards a solution… Which is a pretty good thing!

Every solved problem remains written in your “solution book”. You do not need a computer or a notepad. Next time you encounter an issue, search in your book. Even if there are missing parts.

The more you gather solutions, the more you become an expert at solving problems.

Becoming an alchemist is an art.
Not a Moz-art. An everyday art.

It’s always worth the time and effort you put in it.