Getting Drunk With Your Mu-Opioid Receptors
In keeping with the notion that alcohol allows ordinary people to do extraordinary things, there is evidence to suggest alcohol can also help creative people find their spark...if they're lucky enough to have the Churchill gene.
Writers have long known the glories of drinking at their trade. For millennia they have sneaked early snifters of their preferred libation with the dismissive wave of the hand that it is "noon somewhere." With that airy justification, great works of fiction and non-fiction grace the world's libraries.
Of course, some writers liked alcohol more than others. Fitzgerald and Cheever drank herculean amounts, creating lives that informed their art with autobiographical precision. Hart Crane, it has been determined posthumously, needed to be completely smashed to write. An anecdotal survey of the English canon would conclude that few teetotalers have produced much work of note.
Now a University of Colorado study has elucidated the genetic basis for those whose creativity increases proportionally to their drunkenness. Injected with alcohol, about 15 percent of the study's subjects reported abnormally high rates of happiness. These individuals carried the G-variant gene which is present in about 15 percent of Caucasians.
It's been dubbed the Churchill gene, for Winston was a man who drank hard and worked even harder. In fact, the statesman attributed the completion of his voluminous memoirs to alcohol. G-variant carriers--Churchill was suspected to be one--activate a slightly different version of the mu-opioid protein which gives them their feelings of contentment and large smiles, and drives a high percentage of them to creative pursuits.
Garrett Oliver continues in the Churchillian tradition of working hard with the help of alcohol. Oliver's metier is, fittingly, producing more alcohol. As lead brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery has has helped many a drinker reach their creative potential. His musing when he spoke to Big Think?
Well, Garrett, the secret is out.
Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.
- Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
- Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.
Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.
Using a new process, a mini-brain develops retinal cells.
- Mini-brains, or "neural organoids," are at the cutting edge of medical research.
- This is the first one that's started developing eyes.
- Stem cells are key to the growing of organoids of various body parts.
Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?
- Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
- Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
- Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.