Abhinav Bansal

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Is bounded Rationality good?

Does creativity comes with a cost of mental anguish and pain? And do bounded-ly rational people score better on the dimension of happiness?

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    Aug 27 2012: Smiling /laughing babies/kids are the happiest....."ignorance is bliss"........is that what the proposition about ?

    Well lot of creative works in the arena of art, literature etc seems came out of pain & anguish......but my naive feeling is curiosity is the parent of creativity......

    May be curious people know more so they have more pain / anguish because of individual's instict inability of solving all things those are unresolved
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      Aug 27 2012: As always Salim, I can feel your response not just know it.

      On one of the horrible days of my life, I went to an art class because i had promised a friend that I would go and she would not have gone without me. I was in turmoil and my guts were roiling.

      It was a class in painting with acrylics. I did not want to be there but as I focused on getting the proper colour and shape of an eggplant that i was painting something magical happened.

      The focus and the fact that it was so far from what had consumed me disipated all the angst that I was feeling. I left there later that night quite happy. Now my distress did not lead to creativity but willing my mind to attend to the colour and the shape and reproduce it sure did. i still have that painting and it is one of my favourites now.
  • Aug 27 2012: I think it is good in the respect it helps us understand and categorize our experiences, which has served an important purpose throughout our history. It is bad when we think that this bounded rationality(narrow view) is absolute truth, this only helps to perpetuate mental anguish and pain. Pain is a symptom of something which needs to be changed or worked through, most often this is possible, occasionally it is not. Creativity is our most powerful tool with which to work through these changes.

    To the second part, bounded rationality makes for more happiness as long as the rules expressed hold true from one's perspective. Once they are broken the pain of change is introduced, the longer the rules are held while understood to be untrue, the longer and more intense the anguish will be. This is why acceptance of our limited understanding of this universe is so important to happiness.
  • Aug 27 2012: The more superficially we are able to skip along the surface of life, the less sadness and anguish we feel. Rationality doesn't go deep. It has no need to, because everything the rational person requires is there within easy and obvious reach, or has already been contemplated by someone else. There is less need for the rational person to dig deeper inside themselves, or to look to the future to find hitherto unknown things that stimulate them.

    The rational person gets his/her stimulation from the outside in, while the creative person gets stimulated from the inside out.

    I think anguish and pain goes with the territory of being creative because it is by definition, introspective. The introspective spiral can so easily go downwards if creativity isn't happening (artist's block), or self-esteem has taken a knock.

    The problem is that we are all born to be certain thinking types - rational or creative (sometimes both) and our degree of relative happiness seems to be linked to one or other of those.

    We just have to accept that we are either going to be irrational/creative/artistic, or rational/logical/scientific. I think we also have to accept that one will never properly understand the other.
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    Aug 27 2012: In a way, yes. Because if everything is "happy" then how can it be "happy" without something sad to compare it to?

    Imo, a lot of artists find it easier to express their feelings when they experience pain/mental anguish. Sometimes it's really interesting when they experience a new feeling and they're not sure how to really express the feeling, but when they try to, the results can be really surprising.

    What's also really interesting thing to note is that what I consider the happiest things/moments in a story is also closely associated to a strong degree of sadness. Like a happy moment can cause you to be tearful. It's an interesting irony for me...
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    Aug 27 2012: Creativity can come from anguish and pain, but also from rising out of a state of depression or from positive emotion. There has been extensive research on this point over the last fifty years. One recent book including such research is Creativity by Mihalyi Czikzentmihalyi of the Psych department at the University of Chicago. He has been a TED speaker, but for TED he talked about his idea that has caught greatest hold in popular culture, the idea of "flow."

    If you are refering to the usual definition of "bounded rationality", the label applies to all humans. That is, we cannot process all the vast quantities of information potentially available to us and therefore act on a subset of all the potentially available information, making decisions on that basis that we expect will work but not necessarily be the best possible decision (if it were humanly possible to gather and digest all the information potentially at hand that might have some bearing on the decision).
    In the work that originally presented the term "bounded rationality," that sort of modified optimizing is called "satisficing." I think those who accept that our cognitive capabilities as humans will prevent us in practice from being able to gather and process all pertinent information will probably live with less stress than those who blame themselves.
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    Aug 27 2012: Extensive studies indicate the depressed people see the world in a more starkly accurate fashion.
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    Aug 27 2012: Every creative individual has his or her own distinct creative process. Some people are inspired by love; some are inspired by pain; some by narcotics; there are difference processes and experiences that strengthens creativity.

    A creative mind may not be 'normal' to most people because creativity involves the use of imagination; and individual imagination is an exclusive experience.

    As for happiness; it is a choice. Some choose to be happy, by accepting themselves; accepting the fact that their human effort is important in improving their condition, but it will not solve all their problems.
    While some may look for happiness in a future experience or in the solution to a problem. A problem is solved, and another one is born; but they still long for the elusive perfect world, like the adventurous folks looking for El-Dorado or the Kruger millions.

    One again, happiness is a choice.
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    Gail .

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    Aug 27 2012: I can only speak for me, and from my own experience.

    Some years ago I LEARNED that I was not thinking rationally. I also learned that my belief system was a chaotic mess. It was filled with conflicting beliefs, mistaken beliefs, untested assumptions, and outgrown beliefs. By the time I put a new worldview together, I was able to think very logically and with that, all intense emotions ended and where the misery was, satisfaction now rested. Happiness is not satisfaction because happiness is more transient.

    As to creativity - It is the most exciting and rewarding experience I know of. I can get lost for hours or days or even years as I search for a rational answer to a complex problem. Answers come by thinking outside the box, so I would call that creativity. Too bad our educational systems squelch the creativity right out of us a children. Too few reconnect with it as adults.

    Then there is another kind of creativity. That's the creativity that I have when I turn rooms in my house into (a) 4D painting. I know that when I focus on turning a part of my house (or yard) into a reflection of myself, that I grow through the process and realize new truths about myself. That greater awareness comes with greater satisfaction.
  • Aug 27 2012: All things can be limited, etc. etc. However, without a lenghty explanation I don't see where you are going. Mainly, to me someone seems to be rational or not. Personality fits into certain personality types than I might feel comfortabvle with.
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    Aug 27 2012: Imo

    Yes intense emotional upheaval can create a furious phase of creativity,i can't comment on the second part of your question as i don't understand it,i take it as a failure on my part.