Is blogging psychotic?

I confess… I’m struggling. I’ve been back a week, most of it jet-lagged from a sleepless overnight flight following a long escapist holiday, still deaf in one ear, a foggy-headed shambling husk, hardly daring to look the draft in the eye (because I am, frankly, sick to the molars of it), and experiencing such a dose of blogger’s block that, what with the censorship guidelines, nothing provokes even one of those trivial ‘filler’ posts – rather than the intermittent substantial ones you actually put some (draft-displacing) time and effort into – which most of us indulge in to keep the thing ticking along and maintain the habit. Because, it seems, once a blogger’s regularity stutters, he/she is likely to allow it to slide down the priority list. Loss of regularity can be a problem, after all. Or maybe it’s healthier the other way round. There’s quite a few good bloggers who got out of the habit and seemingly no longer grace these pages, and are presumably applying their time to less trivial pursuits.

Habit? Hmm. That smacks of compulsion. In the latest NewScientist is a snippet on the ‘link’ (no longer merely ‘association’) between creativity and psychosis. Don’t know about you but, from my observations of a species that compulsively (necessarily?) lies to itself, it hardly surprises me. The genes at root are being fingered now. Variants of the Neuregulin-1 gene (NRG1) are linked to increased risk of schizophrenia. And individuals homozygous for another NRG1 mutation linked to psychosis are also, it turns out, of higher creativity, as identified amongst 200 individuals who, err, responded to an advert for creative volunteers. What I’m slightly puzzled by (not having read the paper in question) is the potential ambiguity in asking people to denote themselves as ‘creative’. Who imagines they are creative? Is it creative to imagine you are creative? Or could you just pretend you are? (In which case, you’re being creative, no?) I wonder whether any of them are bloggers. Oh, but the volunteers were also tested, and scored for creative achievement (patents, books, etc). I suspect merely (merely?) running a blog didn’t make the cut.

But is there, perhaps, some SNP (that’s Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism for the genetically un-savvy of you) that encodes a subtle variant allele of NRG1 that pre-disposes to blogging? I mean, come on, let’s face it – it is a bit nuts, isn’t it? Although that’s not why I have, in my post-holiday slumber, considered dropping this along with climbing on the wagon; time for a change of hobby. But, not yet. For I’d rather stay here…

‘Zane, zane, zane,
Ouvre le chien’

3 responses to “Is blogging psychotic?

  1. Loss of regularity can be a problem, after all.

    Can you get all-bran online?
    I would also suggest (perhaps more seriously) that science is a hugely creative past-time. Trying to solve old problems using new techniques, trying to communicate effectively to peers and others, trying to sex asexual things up (almost, but not quite) beyond belief to get that next grant… Takes a certain creative genius.
    Now excuse me, please. I have to go and have a poo create ingenious ways of describing my confusing simulations results.


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