The stereotype is that there is a high incidence of insanity among those in the creative professions.


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Philip Emeagwali
interviewed by Reuben Abati for The Nigerian Guardian.


What do you think of the belief that inventors are usually crazy people who inhabit a twilight zone to which other human beings have no access?
The stereotype is that there is a high incidence of insanity among those in the creative professions. My observations is that inventors are normal and everyday people.

The media and the public are fascinated by creative and eccentric individuals such as actress Sarah Berhardt who takes a nap in a coffin before her stage performances and novelist D.H. Lawrence who generates ideas by climbing trees in the nude. People are like eccentric people because they will like to do such crazy things but are too embarrased to try them.

Sleeping in a coffin or climbing trees without any clothes does not mean that one is crazy. To be creative requires a different perspective. Berhardt and Lawrence were stimulating their creativity by subjecting themselves to different environments.

Everybody is naturally creative but most suppress that urge by attempting to conform. I boost my creativity by reading widely and thinking critically about the things that I read. I have generated ideas by reading children's books and ancient history.

I will not do eccentric things like climbing trees in the nude.


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