What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)… more
I just finished reading Steven Pinker’s bestselling The Stuff of Thought, the Harvard experimental psychologist’s latest book about how the mind works. For some reason I wasn’t expecting much from it but by the end it left me wanting more.
This is a great book for curious people. (That last sentence could even be open to analysis.) Pinker eloquently goes through case after case and example after example of how and why we use language to convey ideas, and likewise how ideas shape our language. Grammar, semantics, pragmatics, inferences, naming trends, cursing – so many things that we take for granted are dissected with the goal of presenting human nature back to ourselves.… more
The Reuters quote used to promote the documentary film I.O.U.S.A. is pretty much spot on. It is: “To the U.S. economy what ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was to the environment.”
In what has to be the best timed release of any movie this year, I.O.U.S.A. explains and examines the enormous and rapidly mounting U.S. national debt. It shows just how serious the consequences of it are for current and future generations of Americans, not to mention its influence in shifting geopolitical power over the long term. The film’s makers focus the story on the so-called four deficits: budget, savings, trade, and leadership.… more
Nine Inch Nails were in town last week; a stop on their Lights in the Sky tour. And as good as Trent & Co’s music was, it was the on-stage light show that was truly spectacular.
I’ve never seen anything like it. The whole set was at times engulfed in light from no less than 108 backing spotlights. But the really innovative bit was three light screens which would descend upon the stage, sometimes behind the band and sometimes in front of them. The screens would alternatively display some beautiful ambient images and interactive walls. You kinda have to see it to understand it.… more
Something I’ve been working on over the past several months: the launch of Rovio, a WiFi-enabled robotic webcam from WowWee. You can drive this little omni-directional 3-wheeled guy using an intuitive interface in your web browser. Give it a try. Through mid-December you can book a fun 5-minute test drive around a specially constructed loft. Meet Rovio test drive.
Back in March I posted about my forthcoming involvement in The Age of Conversation 2, a book about the shift towards new business and marketing techniques for evolving dialogue about brands, experience, and community.
Well, it just released today. Ta-da!
This book has 237 contributors and I am one of them, writing about this creative generalism thing of course. The book is now available in both hard and soft cover from Lulu. All proceeds go to Variety, the international children’s charity.… more
A few top-tier idea conferences recently wrapped up: Picnic 08 in Amsterdam, Idea Festival in Louisville, and BIF-4 in Providence. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend this year but fortunately there are enough articles, videos, and firsthand dispatches floating around the net to experience vicariously through.… more
As a longtime night owl – perhaps stubbornly so – I find this headline rather vindicating: Bright ideas come to us at night, not in office hours.
The article claims that, “research now suggests that if you want to be the wisest, you really need to stay up – well, until 10.04pm at least. This is supposedly the best time for a eureka moment, according to research.”
Good stuff. Now, if only the article’s author would actually cite what research study says this I will sleep better at night.