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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Will I Have To Give Up Fame, Women, and...Blogging?

Hat Tip: The Corner

The headline says: Marriage and children kill creativity in men

But don't worry--it's not all men:
Men do their best work in their younger years, but getting married and having children stalls their creativity, according to a New Zealand study of successful scientists.

Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, reports in the August issue of the Journal of Research in Personality that a man's age and unmarried status appear to drive success in his field.

His study was based on the analysis of a biographical database of 280 scientists considered 'great' by their colleagues, noting their age at the time when they did their greatest work. He found the data remarkably concurs with the observation made by Albert Einstein in 1942: "A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so." [emphasis added]
And forget about the question of age. Just marriage by itself is supposed to be the kiss of of death:
But, regardless of age, the great minds who married virtually kissed goodbye to making any further glorious additions to their CV. Within five years of making their nuptial vows, nearly a quarter of married scientists had made their last significant contribution to knowledge.

"Scientists rather quickly desist [from their careers] after their marriage, while unmarried scientists continue to make great scientific contributions later in their lives," said Kanazawa.
Speaking of Einstein, there was a PBS special suggesting that Einstein's first wife played a large role in his theories. But then again, every theory has exceptions. Anyway, it looks like Dr. Kanazawa's theory is not limited to just the scientists, either. It seems to affect creativity over a whole range of fields, including blogging:
The energy of youth and the dampening effect of marriage, he added, are also remarkably similar among geniuses in music, painting and writing - and even among criminals.
(Just to be clear, I'm comparing blogging with writing--not with being a criminal.)

But whereas the title of the article connects the whole age/marriage/children thing with creativity, it isn't till the very end of the article that we find out what really is driving scientists, artists--and bloggers:
Kanazawa suggests "a single psychological mechanism" is responsible for this: the competitive edge among young men to fight for glory and gain the attention of women. That craving drives the all-important male hormone, testosterone.
Yeah, baby!! Get a load of my blog!!!

Actually, at this point in my life, I've found an infusion of hot chocolate before bedtime is what I crave.

Anyway, I'm not impressed with any potential comparison between blogging vs. science, music, painting and writing.

Hey, I may be an addict, but I'm no fanatic.

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