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  1. #1
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    Feb 2014

    Default Does good memory kill creativity?

    What's your opinion? Does better memory only help you make more creative associations more quickly, or does it push you to plagiarize and continuously recycle old, remembered ideas rather than exploring your own?

  2. #2
    The Dark Lord The Wailing Specter's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus View Post
    What's your opinion? Does better memory only help you make more creative associations more quickly, or does it push you to plagiarize and continuously recycle old, remembered ideas rather than exploring your own?
    I would say that creativity for me comes from filling in the gaps in my memory, like filling in blanks with madlibs.
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  3. #3
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    Jan 2013


    Memory helps my creativity. I'm not the type to just blindly regurgitate, anyway, and I'd rather do something new/different, so when something pops up that's already been done, I'm likely to ignore it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
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    Well, actually some of my more creative ideas are based of some tiny little bit of knowledge that I learned and then are twisted into something new. Though I would think that naturally having an amazing memory might lead to laziness because you already have so much to draw from that you dont see the point in creating anything original. It probably is pretty challanging to keep up such a large store of memory, so you would have less energy to expand towards creativity

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't say so. While my short term and working memory is about average, my long term memory is very strong. Although I don't consider myself all that creative, many of those around me do, so I consider it to be a true statement overall.

    I really can't see how a strong memory would impede upon creativity anyway.

  6. #6
    The Green Jolly Robin H.
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    Oct 2014


    when my memory got worse my creative went up....but when my memory got way, way, way worse my creative died.

    I'd say they are seperate to a degree but reliant to another...there is a critical point where more memory or less makes no difference...creativity is a thing on to itself but the two can eat each other and grow if that makes two snakes winding in a figure eight and eating their tails.
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  7. #7
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    May 2014
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    As an artist I can say that working memory is absolutely essential to creative success. If an idea vanishes as soon as you have heard it, how can it possibly be realised? There is a substantial amount of theory behind music, at least, that it is important to learn and retain if you want to be great as opposed to good.

    Having a wide range of knowledge to draw from really helps as you can use those tools to fill in the gaps intuition can leave. It goes without saying that I can't learn well without concentrating. In fact, I find that without memory and focus, abstractions are as difficult to grasp as a cricket ball.

    I do agree that overexposing yourself to other peoples' work can make it harder to create original thoughts. Still, it is better than not exposing yourself at all.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Aug 2012


    I have a fantastic memory and am highly creative. Is there a correlation? I don't know, but one thing I do know, my memory doesn't hurt my creativity in any way.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese
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  9. #9
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Mar 2012


    It's an interesting point.

    It depends on how someone remembers things and what they use the information for. All memory is association of course but I think there is a difference between just throwing out a recollection you have experienced and using that recollection for the generation of something creative.

    There might be a correlation between not remembering the intricate details and being creative a la MBTI style, but I don't know about that. I do know that I tend to get told off a lot for daydreaming at work or bringing up a topic that isn't directly related to work and I get stressed out really easily by being forced to just memorise things through static repetition which is why I make loads of mistakes I think.

    That or just general incompetence, but I like my excuse better.

    As an aside all creativity has to come from some input, so no one is more creative than nature; the sexy beast.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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  10. #10
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    Jun 2014


    I would think having a "good memory" would enhance creativity. Creativity being enhanced by connections made between past experience recall and current experience and expressed in the creative arts.

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