The Runaway Species - David Eagleman & Anthony Brandt on human creativity


What looks like a beautiful, multidisciplinary book on human creativity, from a neuroscientist and a composer - and a very evocative title: The Runaway Species (quite similar to a Radical Animal...) 

Creativity is one of the assumptions about being human that we put at the heart of our thinking about politics - taken seriously, so many of our institutions and laws would be redesigned around this. 

In a recent RSA presentation - the podcast is embedded below - David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt recapped their fascinating presentation along these lines:

  • Creativity is part of the software of every human brain

  • Creativity doesn't come out of thin air - all ideas evolve and have a history

  • The creative process transcends disciplines. We bend, break and blend our storehouse of experience, remodelling what we know

  • Creativity is overt in the arts, which is why we need to include them in the way we educate our children

  • We propel our creativity when we "break good" - when we propel ourselves to get a distance from community standards, proliferate options, and tolerate risk

  • We're a species with a runaway imagination - our innate cognitive software has produced a society with increasingly faster innovation -one that feeds on its latest ideas.

  • And what we have now are 8 billion brains running around this planet, running on this cognitive software of creativity - which means there are more raw materials than ever to bend, break and blend. 

  • As far as we are aware, there is no other species that puts as much effort into exploring imaginary territories. 

  • All of us are chiselling in the cliffside of history to build our tomorrows. By understanding our ability to innovate, our most profound, mysterious and deeply human capacity, we can all go out and remake our world.