“Think of rivalry as a type of über competition driven by mutual obsession, with the rivals propelling each other to spiralling achievement, and investing more mental and emotional resources in each other than circumstances would ever dictate on their own.”
“At this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, we asked a group of people who work in media, design, and the arts about how the creative process can lend itself to unlocking solutions. ‘Creativity is a problem-solving practice,’ says Anne Libera, director of comedy studies at Second City. ‘You have to risk, you have to fail – that’s how you know where the edge is.’ Other panelists include Tim Brown, Bran Ferren, JR, Maurice Ashley, Lil Buck, Kelly Leonard, and Jane Chu.” (video)
Mary Beard: “The truth is that Roman history offers very few direct lessons for us, and no simple list of dos and don’ts. … Ancient Rome still matters for very different reasons – mainly because Roman debates have given us a template and a language that continue to define the way we understand our own world and think about ourselves.”
Alva Noë: “The problem is that neuroscience has yet to frame an adequate conception of our nature. You look in vain in the writings of neuroscientists for satisfying accounts of experience or consciousness. For this reason, I believe, we can’t use neuroscience to explain art and its place in our lives. Indeed, if I am right, the order of explanation may go in the other direction: Art can help us frame a better picture of our human nature.”
First of all, they have to make sure they’re not getting pranked by some mischievous techies. If they decide the signals are real, there is an agreed-upon set of protocols – which may not actually work when the time comes.
“Participants became more confident in their own opinion after learning they were in the majority. But (they) then started doubting their own opinion significantly after the male holdout expressed anger.” In contrast, “when a female holdout expressed anger, participants became significantly more confident in their own opinion over the course of deliberation.”
MIT professor Frank Levy: “The first two are AI’s depth and breadth. The third is the media picture of AI that shapes public perception. … By depth I mean the extent to which AI equals or surpasses human intelligence – the development that worries Ray Kurzweil and Stephen Hawking. … By breadth of AI, I mean the way that software with current levels of sophistication will increasingly penetrate the workplace and displace workers. … The third dimension of AI – the media portrayal – is wildly excessive and it comes at a bad political moment.”
“Psychologists and linguists have long been interested in the extent to which language affects thought, including whether and how different ways of communicating similar information can influence subsequent thinking. If Bush tells us that ‘stuff happens’ (rather than, say, that ‘people use guns to commit atrocities’), are we less inclined to seek stricter gun control? … The research to date suggests the answer is ‘yes’.”
“Almost a century ago, a fad for sleep-learning swept the industrialised world, ending only after neuroscientists determined it was physiologically impossible. Yet today, a growing body of research suggests they were wrong. Sleep-learning appears to be heading for a revival, on a far more solid scientific basis than its earlier incarnation.”
“I see the potential in my clients. They are becoming very well-respected brands. I think the other attorneys who are working in entertainment might have vast experience in the world, but they’re not from the same generation, whereas I am my clientele. The demographic I’m involved in is who I am as a person.”
“Remarkably, everything in it is free, from video installations to comedy acts to symphony concerts.”
Comprising anywhere from one third to about half of the population, introverts sometimes appear shy, depressed, or antisocial, when that’s not always the case. As Susan Cain put it in her famous TED Talk, introverts simply “feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they’re in quieter, more low-key environments.”
“For more than three years, Jarosinski’s followers (currently numbering over 117,000) have enjoyed his steady stream of extremely witty tweets. Sometimes light and playful, sometimes tortured or paradoxical, each is accompanied by his avatar, a cartoon drawing of what appears to be Theodor W. Adorno sporting a monocle.”
“Nothing in the world is more exciting than a moment of sudden discovery or invention, and many more people are capable of experiencing such moments than is sometimes thought.”
“Pascal’s famous wager requires a choice between believing and not believing in God. But there’s more than one way not to believe.”
“A century, plus or minus, after human beings started putting their minds toward designing cities as a whole, things are getting good. High tech materials, sensor networks, new science, and better data are all letting architects, designers, and planners work smarter and more precisely. Cities are getting more environmentally sound, more fun, and more beautiful. And just in time, because today more human beings live in cities than not.”
“In more ancient times, when communal experiences were mediated by religion, crowds used to gather outside temples on feast days. … Nowadays, we have Apple Release Day – the Feast of St. Jobs – when faithful customers gather outside Apple stores and await the renewal of a next generation iPhone.” Says NYU professor Erica Robles-Anderson, “It’s so obviously a cult.”
“French public debate has been framed around enduring oppositions such as good and evil, opening and closure, unity and diversity, civilisation and barbarity, progress and decadence, and secularism and religion. Underlying this passion for ideas is a belief in the singularity of France’s mission.”
“All mammals have hair. … We are the only mammals who braid, knot, powder, pile up, oil, spray, tease, perm, color, curl, straighten, augment, shave off, and clip our hair.” Not to mention using it as a signifier of gender, religion, and/or cultural politics.
“Just last week the University of Chicago library announced that in response to ‘increased demand,’ librarians are working with architects to transform a presumably quiet reading room into a ‘vibrant laboratory of interactive learning.’ One writer on Top Hat, a popular online resource for educators, argued in a post last month that ‘cooperative learning strategies harness the greatest part of human evolutionary behavior: sociality.'”
“When schools and institutions attempt to ban The Bluest Eye there is a distinct and ugly irony to this exile. I often think of Morrison’s own words, ‘If you’re going to hold someone down you’re going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain.'”
“They have taken that most inscrutable of interfaces — the Check Engine light — and forced it to explain itself. It can hear you, and speak back, all over the din of the open road.”
The truth is life is not fair. For creative work to spread, you need more than talent. You have to get exposure to the right networks. And as unfair as that may seem, it’s the way the world has always worked.
“Professors, researchers, students and actual Nobel laureates from around the world gathered at Harvard University at the 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, the absurdist celebration of science that ‘makes you laugh, then think’.”
Explicit design is when “you have an idea in your head and you draw it. Generative design is when you state the goals of your problem and have the computer create design iterations for you.”
Sudhir Hazareesingh suggests that some of the French habits of thought that made its great minds so influential from the Enlightenment through the 1960s contained the seeds of their own decline.
“Because perfectionism, judging by the raft of books and listicles on the subject, is something Americans have generally decided is a negative trait. Much of the research backs this up, even going so far as to suggest that perfectionism can be potentially dangerous, leading to anxiety, depression, and, in extreme cases, possibly suicide.”
“An increasing number of researchers and practitioners have gone from dismissing hallucinated voices as worthless ravings symptomatic of psychosis to listening carefully to what they say. What they have heard has been infinitely varied and surprisingly complex. And the effort to deal with these complexities is leading to entirely new, even inventive forms of treatment.”
“Uncovering the so-called biology of creativity is big business. FMRI scan aficionados tell us which brain areas light up when someone has a novel idea. Brain wave experts propose electrical patterns specific to originality. Even if these observations pan out, they cannot tell us how to interpret a brilliant chess move arising out of a software glitch. If we are forced to expand our notion of creativity to include random electrical firings, what does that tell us about our highly touted imaginative superiority over a mindless machine?”
“The propensity to think creatively tends to be associated with independence and self-direction—qualities generally ascribed to men,” Duke University researchers led by Devon Proudfoot argue in the journal Psychological Science. As a result, they write, “men are often perceived to be more creative than women.”