It is Sir Ken not Saint Ken

Piers YoungNotesLeave a Comment

Will Orr-Ewing has a thoughtful post here, and it says a lot of things that needed to be said. Very much worth a read. [Update: George Haines has more to say on Sir Ken and the Kool Aid problem – thanks @surreallyno]

Plumbers & “Write what you know”

Piers YoungNotesLeave a Comment

I’ve heard the statement, “Write what you know,” probably like a million times, but only a handful of times did that make any sense to me. Teacher says, “Write what you know.” Student begins to write. On the planet Jupiter robot warriors called Jenturions launched a . . Teacher corrects, “No, write what you know and it needs to be … Read More

Searching the Brain for the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving – NYTimes.com

Piers YoungAsidesLeave a Comment

researchers at Northwestern University found that people were more likely to solve word puzzles with sudden insight when they were amused, having just seen a short comedy routine.<br /> <br /> “What we think is happening,” said Mark Beeman, a neuroscientist who conducted the study with Karuna Subramaniam, a graduate student, “is that the humor, this positive mood, is lowering … Read More

Reinventing British manners the Post-It way

Piers YoungAsidesLeave a Comment

Design thinking goes like this: firstly, immersion, whereby the designers research the problem by plunging themselves into it – talking to the people they're trying to help, working with them, interviewing experts. Secondly, synthesis – whereby they gather together their findings and look for patterns. Third, ideation – brainstorming solutions to the real problems identified by stage two. Then comes … Read More

Feeling grumpy ‘is good for you’

Piers YoungAsidesLeave a Comment

An Australian psychology expert who has been studying emotions has found being grumpy makes us think more clearly. In contrast to those annoying happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible, his experiments showed. While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian Science Magazine. Source: here

How we use and abuse the word genius

Piers YoungAsidesLeave a Comment

Leonardo introduced technology, Michelangelo added naturalism, Caravaggio brought in the beauty of the lower classes, Rembrandt introduced art images to the common home, Manet eliminated the mythological basis of art and reified "street" experience, Monet revolutionized the portrayal of light and Van Gogh did the same for color. Genius is the transformation of collective experience by one individual for the … Read More

Lateral thinking overrated

Piers YoungAsidesLeave a Comment

a number of detailed reports of scientific discovery, artistic creativity, and invention are available, including Darwin’s notebooks on the development of his theory of evolution, Watson’s report of the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule, Picassos preliminary sketches for several of his most famous paintings, and Edison’s notebooks on the invention of the kinetoscope. These examples are covered … Read More

Brainstorm, but carefully and only after individual thought

Piers YoungAsidesLeave a Comment

Psychologists have long known that the practice of 'brainstorming' is a sure road to fewer new ideas and less innovation than that produced when we work individually. In groups we loaf, feel anxious and our own ideas are soon forgotten while we listen to others. It turns out that groups are better at evaluating ideas than they are at their … Read More

Group norms killing creativity

Piers YoungNotesLeave a Comment

via Psyblog When groups are asked to think creatively the reason they frequently fail is because implicit norms constrain them in the most explicit ways. This is clearly demonstrated in a recent study carried out by Adarves-Yorno et al. (2006). They asked two groups of participants to create posters and subtly gave each group a norm about either using more … Read More

T.E.Lawrence on Discipline

Piers YoungNotesLeave a Comment

From Seven Pillars of Wisdom: … it had seemed to me that discipline, or at least formal discipline, was a virtue of peace: a character or stamp by which to mark off soldiers from complete men, and obliterate the humanity of the individual. It resolved itself easiest into the restrictive, the making of men not do this or that: and … Read More