Being “nobody-but-yourself”

This bit of advice from e.e.cummings made me think. (h/t Maria Popova).

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling.

Plumbers & “Write what you know”

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 .

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

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 />
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“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 the brain’s threshold for detecting weaker or more remote connections” to solve puzzles.<br

Reinventing British manners the Post-It way

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.

Feeling grumpy ‘is good for you’

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.

How we use and abuse the word genius

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.

Lateral thinking overrated

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.

Brainstorm, but carefully and only after individual thought

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.