Intrinsic motivation is important for sustained creative activity

A recent study shows that An insight-related neural reward signal exists and is more active in some people than in others.

This study also confirms the idea that “intrinsic motivation is important for sustained creative activity.”

Some other findings that may be of interest:

…our findings suggest that individuals who are high in reward sensitivity experience the sudden emergence of a solution into awareness as strongly rewarding whereas individuals who are low in reward sensitivity may still experience insight as sudden and attentionally salient but lacking in hedonic content.

As lifelong autodidact, I wonder if others with this marvelous “addiction” can relate to feeling almost not alive unless there is something to wonder about or figure out. I recently read a biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein. One standout was his strong tendency to seek out simple or humble environments that stimulated his mind.

…Individuals high in reward sensitivity are more likely to take drugs, develop substance-abuse disorders or eating disorders, and engage in risky behaviors such as gambling. The fact that some people find insight experiences to be highly pleasurable reinforces the notion that insight can be an intrinsic reward for problem solving and comprehension that makes use of the same reward circuitry in the brain that processes rewards from addictive drugs, sugary foods, or love.

Getting lost in the woods or on a motorcycle ride, for me, is a highly enjoyable feeling. There have to be slight tremors of fear and agitation followed by finding my way again. I suppose others may experience similar feelings in social settings or as live performers.

…These findings shed light on people’s motivations for engaging in challenging, often time-consuming, activities that potentially yield insights, such as solving puzzles or mysteries, creating inventions, or doing research. It also reinforces the notion that intrinsic motivation is important for sustained creative activity. The expectation of intrinsic rewards from comprehending and creating, rather than from an extrinsic source such as payment, is thought to be the most effective type of workplace motivation…

A society with universal basic income in which no one has to work unless they want to might bring about the greatest flourishing of human talent ever. Then again, maybe not. Inspiration does need a stick on the back sometimes and “joy has no children,” meaning happiness produces few inventions.

Here’s an article about the study: Aha! + Aaaah: Creative Insight Triggers a Neural Reward Signal.

Religious freedom, the federal govt, China and Chinese propaganda

The interviews below are better than most, providing in-depth insight into how and why the US government is acting as it is.

This interview with AG Bill Barr covers many fundamental legal and practical matters at home and also vis-a-vis China. Well-worth viewing.

EDIT: Part 2 added. In this section Barr makes it clear that U.S. Attorney John Durham is pursuing criminal charges against DOJ and FBI officials who abused the FISA process and whose actions “at least had the effect of sabotaging the presidency.” Barr calls those abuses “the greatest travesty in American history.”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro discusses China, COVID-19, and the US response to both.


Unrestricted Warfare: English translation

Since the whole world is now fundamentally at war with the Chinese Communist Party, I am supplying a PDF of Unrestricted Warfare. The text is roughly explained below.

Unrestricted Warfare (超限战, literally “warfare beyond bounds”) is a book on military strategy written in 1999 by two colonels in the People’s Liberation ArmyQiao Liang (乔良) and Wang Xiangsui (王湘穗). Its primary concern is how a nation such as China can defeat a technologically superior opponent (such as the United States) through a variety of means. Rather than focusing on direct military confrontation, this book instead examines a variety of other means. Such means include using International Law (see Lawfare) and a variety of economic means to place one’s opponent in a bad position and circumvent the need for direct military action. (Link)

The CCP did not disclose human-to-human transmission of COVID19 until January 20 of this year. They have known of the virus since late November or early December of 2019 and have engaged in covering up crucial information about it ever since. Doing so ensured the virus would spread throughout the world.

Gordan Chang on China and COVID19

Chang points out the obvious: that China’s covering up the seriousness of the coronavirus led to the worldwide pandemic. He also describes how the West is now being forced to accept that no relationship with China’s Communist Party (CCP) will ever turn them into fair-minded stewards of a once great civilization.

Grossly under-reporting COVID19 is tantamount to an act of war

The UK government believes China lied about it’s COVID19 disease and mortality statistics, thus misleading the entire world.

British officials are quietly accusing China of spreading disinformation about their success with the virus while simultaneously downplaying its number of cases  “by a factor of 15 to 40 times.”

Boris Johnson’s government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claims

No one who knows the Chinese Communist Party has believed otherwise. The CCP has been a lying parasite on the world trade system since it entered the WTO. Having lost the trade war, which would have merely rationalized their trade positions, the CCP then covers up the worst virus attack the world has seen since the Spanish Flu.

Covered it up or created it. It is reasonable to suspect the CCP either created or bred COVID19 in its Wuhan BSL-4 lab and then advertently or inadvertently released it, knowing it would spread throughout the world.

This letter to Nature argues that COVID19 was not manufactured in a lab: The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2.

Maybe that’s good science and maybe it’s even true that the virus was not “the product of purposeful manipulation” of the splice and dice kind, but it still could have been found in nature and bred in a lab for high contagiousness and enough lethality to paralyze the world.

I am not a virologist and the above is speculation. Furthermore, I am not trying to sensationalize what has happened. I am saying it’s a simple fact that not telling the world the truth about your own epidemic will cause a worldwide pandemic. And that is tantamount to an act of war.

An unnamed British official said “there has to be a reckoning when this is over.” A very nice way to say the CCP is finished. I pray there will not be kinetic war, but something dire is going to happen. The CCP’s handling of COVID19 is sinister, aggressive, hostile, and unforgivable.

First they came for “inner” Mongolia, but the world said nothing. Then they came for Tibet, Falun Gong, Tiananmen Square, the Uighurs, and Hong Kong, and the world still said nothing.

Relevant: The Coronavirus and the Culture War

EDIT: 4 Ways China Gains from the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Secret Speech of General Chi Haotian

This speech should be read by everyone interested in China. Draw your own conclusions about how much it has to do with recent events. Chi Haotian was the defense minister of China from 1993-2003. An excerpt from his speech can be found just below. Be sure to read the whole speech. More information about it is provided at the link below.

…Conventional weapons such as fighters, canons, missiles and battleships won’t do; neither will highly destructive weapons such as nuclear weapons. We are not as foolish as to want to perish together with America by using nuclear weapons, despite the fact that we have been exclaiming that we will have the Taiwan issue resolved at whatever cost. Only by using non-destructive weapons that can kill many people will we be able to reserve America for ourselves. There has been rapid development of modern biological technology, and new bio-weapons have been invented one after another. Of course, we have not been idle, in the past years we have seized the opportunity to master weapons of this kind. We are capable of achieving our purpose of “cleaning up” America all of a sudden. When Comrade Xiaoping was still with us, the Party Central Committee had the perspicacity to make the right decision not to develop aircraft carrier groups and focus instead on developing lethal weapons that can eliminate mass populations of the enemy country.

From a humanitarian perspective, we should issue a warning to the American people and persuade them to leave America and leave the land they have lived in to the Chinese people. Or at least they should leave half of the United States to be China’s colony, because America was first discovered by the Chinese. But would this work? If this strategy does not work, then there is only one choice left to us. That is, use decisive means to “clean up” America and reserve America for our use in a moment. Our historical experience has proven that as long as we make it happen, nobody in the world can do anything about us. Furthermore, if the United States as the leader is gone, then other enemies have to surrender to us.

Biological weapons are unprecedented in their ruthlessness, but if the Americans do not die then the Chinese have to die. If the Chinese people are strapped to the present land, a total societal collapse is bound to take place. (The Secret Speech of General Chi Haotian)

I have posted the translation found on J.R. Nyquist’s blog because this version contains parts left out of other versions I have seen, particularly Chi’s introductory discussion of an online survey.

As far as I have been able to determine, this translation is an accurate rendition of a real speech given to high-level Communist Party leaders.

Below are some quotes from Sun Tzu:

“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Bioweapons and US research on them

Dr Francis Boyle used to be a frequent bioweapons commentator on MSM. Until he said that the anthrax used in the post-9/11 attacks came from Ft Detrick. Then he disappeared from TV.

Boyle is still worth listening to. He claims, I think credibly, that the coronavirus was developed at a lab in North Carolina and was either shared with or stolen by China. China, according to Boyle, further weaponized the virus in Wuhan where it was negligently allowed to escape.

(I believe it is also worth considering that the CCP purposely released the virus to destabilize the Western capitalist system. Payback for losing the trade war.)

I do not agree with Boyle that the USA must stop bioweapons research. Since there is nothing the USA can do to stop bioweapon research in other countries, we would be foolish to stop it ourselves. If we stop it here (which we have not), other countries will quickly get ahead of us. Research in this field also includes finding vaccines and cures. Indeed, sharing research with other countries, as may have been done with China, is one reasonable way to stave off malicious use of these weapons.

Bioweapons are similar to nukes or the NSA database. Nothing will stop other countries from developing these weapons/tools, so we have to do it too.

I believe it would probably be a good idea for Trump to just come out and say basically what has been said above. This is a level of reality we all can understand. Once this level is admitted, we might also hope for more transparency and decency in how these tools are used (data-mining in particular) or dealt with (bioweapons in particular).

Here is a link to a recent Boyle interview: