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The Baloney Detection Kit: A 10-Point Checklist for Science Literacy

The Baloney Detection Kit: A 10-Point Checklist for Science Literacy

Jonah Lehrer on How to Be Creative A Wandering Mind Is an Intelligent Mind What's the Latest Development? Resent research suggests that mind wandering is associated with good working memory, itself a measure of intelligence, reading comprehension and IQ score. The new study, published in Psychological Science, asked individuals to perform routine tasks and monitored how often their minds wandered. What's the Big Idea? Despite humans' proclivity for self-conscious and intentional behavior, scientists estimate that our minds wander about half the time, demonstrating the complex behavior and purpose of our brain. Photo credit: Why Nations Fail Co-authored by the M.I.T. economist Daron Acemoglu and the Harvard political scientist James A. Robinson, “Why Nations Fail” argues that the key differentiator between countries is “institutions.” Nations thrive when they develop “inclusive” political and economic institutions, and they fail when those institutions become “extractive” and concentrate power and opportunity in the hands of only a few. “Inclusive economic institutions that enforce property rights, create a level playing field, and encourage investments in new technologies and skills are more conducive to economic growth than extractive economic institutions that are structured to extract resources from the many by the few,” they write. Acemoglu explained in an interview that their core point is that countries thrive when they build political and economic institutions that “unleash,” empower and protect the full potential of each citizen to innovate, invest and develop. We can only be a force multiplier. And America?

Making Sense of Minimum Viable Products Minimum Viable Products–what does this mean? If you read any article or listen to any talk about minimum viable products, you will notice that the word “confusion” shows up early and often: Steve Blank: “This minimum feature set (sometimes called the “minimum viable product”) causes lots of confusion. Founders act like the ’minimum’ part is the goal. Or worse, that every potential customer should want it.” (Perfection by Subtraction – The Minimum Feature Set)Eric Ries: “One of the most important lean startup techniques is called the minimum viable product. It’s not just that the concept is confusing. MVPs are born from confusion: the “extreme uncertainty” that Ries defines as a fundamental condition of a startup. Making Sense of MVPs Rather than trying to definitively make sense out of MVPs, I stress that “making sense” is what MVPs are about: MVPs are mechanisms to create meaning where little or none currently exists. It doesn’t matter if it’s actually a product in the traditional sense.

Innovation's Hidden Enemies - Alessandro Di Fiore by Alessandro Di Fiore | 10:12 AM April 22, 2011 Companies the world over find it tough to turn good ideas into great businesses. That’s partly because, as we all know, organizations and cultures rebel against innovations, especially when they are first conceived. Take the Vevey-headquartered Nestle, for example, whose Nespresso has become Europe’s leading coffee brand by packing a variety of high quality coffees in aluminum capsules that can be used only with the company’s three types of coffee machines. Nespresso took off when it stopped targeting offices and started marketing itself to households. Another enemy Nespresso faced was the incumbent business model. Nespresso’s third foe was Nestle’s culture, which could have killed the concept. Alessandro Di Fiore is the CEO of the European Centre for Strategic Innovation, based in Milan.

Design Indaba 2012: Trust Your Gut And Take Risks To Really Be Creative “This talk is not to change the world, but rather to offer some words of encouragement,” declared Porky Hefer at the start of his Design Indaba 2012 presentation. After spending 16 years in advertising (and one step away from becoming the CEO of a major ad agency), he left it all to start his own venture, Animal Farm. Now, making a name for himself as a product designer, his ideas come to life by constantly sketching. One of his creations, Lite is a range wooden bulbs using indigenous African hardwood which function as lampshades and include an eco-friendly CFL bulb or LED light. He also showed his Nest tree house project, which was inspired by weaver birds’ nests. Inspired by a dog running past him at the beach that looked like it had human teeth, he created the hilarious Rogz Grinz Ball. Porky also shared how he got to a point in his advertising career where he realized the agency needed clients more then they needed us. Are the words “Trust your gut” your mantra, and why? Animal Farm

The Giant Mirror of Viganella Viganella is a small village in Italy located right at the bottom of a deep valley, and surrounded by high mountains on all sides. This means that naturally, every year from mid-November to early February, the region has absolutely no sunlight. The return of the sun’s rays on the 2nd of February was celebrated with joy every single year for several centuries. That is, until December of 2006, when the problem was fixed forever. Thanks to the brilliance of Giacomo Bonzani, an architect and sundial designer, there now resides on the slopes of a mountainside above Viganella, a giant mirror that reflects sunlight into the town square. According to Bonzani, who first came up with the idea of reflecting sunlight on to the square, no one believed it was possible at first. Let’s just hope someone doesn’t decide to turn the device into a sun-death ray and fry the entire population…What? Reddit Stumble

3 Ways To Predict What Consumers Want Before They Know It The insight that sparks innovation appears to occur randomly. After all, the iconic shorthand for innovation is a light bulb, implying that ideas come from sudden flashes of inspiration. While such flashes are surely good things, it is hard to depend on them, particularly if you are at a company that needs to introduce a steady stream of innovative ideas. Steve Jobs once said, “It is not the customer’s job to know what they want.” That’s absolutely right. The quest to identify opportunities for innovation starts with pinpointing problems customers can’t adequately solve today. To discover your quarter-inch holes, obsessively search for the job that is important but poorly satisfied (for more on the underlying theory of jobs to be done, see The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton M. 1. In 2000, when A.G. Lafley is gifted at communicating complicated ideas in simple ways. Lafley urged P&G to understand their boss as never before. 2. Consider jeans shopping. 3.

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work In the late nineteen-forties, Alex Osborn, a partner in the advertising agency B.B.D.O., decided to write a book in which he shared his creative secrets. At the time, B.B.D.O. was widely regarded as the most innovative firm on Madison Avenue. Born in 1888, Osborn had spent much of his career in Buffalo, where he started out working in newspapers, and his life at B.B.D.O. began when he teamed up with another young adman he’d met volunteering for the United War Work Campaign. By the forties, he was one of the industry’s grand old men, ready to pass on the lessons he’d learned. His book “Your Creative Power” was published in 1948. “Your Creative Power” was filled with tricks and strategies, such as always carrying a notebook, to be ready when inspiration struck. The book outlined the essential rules of a successful brainstorming session. The underlying assumption of brainstorming is that if people are scared of saying the wrong thing, they’ll end up saying nothing at all.

How Not to Kill Creativity – Jonah Lehrer LIVE on Big Think | Big Think TV Jonah Lehrer has been described as a kind of "one man third culture" – after training in Neuroscience at Columbia with Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, he studied literature and philosophy on a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. Since then, he has written three books that examine and blur the boundaries between science and art, reason and imagination. His latest: Imagine: How Creativity Works, looks at the neuroscience and the real-world phenomenon of creativity in case studies ranging from the emotional and spiritual burnout that led to Bob Dylan's brilliant album Highway 61 Revisited to the invention of the Swiffer. Here, Lehrer talks with Big Think's Jason Gots about failure as an integral, essential part of the creative process, and why American schools are so good at killing creativity.

Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity by Maria Popova Why creativity is like LEGO, or what Richard Dawkins has to do with Susan Sontag and Gandhi. In May, I had the pleasure of speaking at the wonderful Creative Mornings free lecture series masterminded by my studiomate Tina of Swiss Miss fame. I spoke about Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity, something at the heart of Brain Pickings and of increasing importance as we face our present information reality. The talk is now available online — full (approximate) transcript below, enhanced with images and links to all materials referenced in the talk. These are pages from the most famous florilegium, completed by Thomas of Ireland in the 14th century. In talking about these medieval manuscripts, Adam Gopnik writes in The New Yorker: Our minds were altered less by books than by index slips.” You may have heard this anecdote. Here’s the same sentiment from iconic designer Paula Scher on the creation of the famous Citi logo: Kind of LEGOs. And I like this last part.

Thoughts | Designing the new normal + When we contemplate the future, we may find ourselves wondering what we should be designing. Our world is changing; it always has and it always will. Our greatest challenge is often not how to recognize change, but what to do about it. There is no singularity of normal on our planet today. Each of us should be asking questions of ourselves as we work: Do we have a duty, perhaps even a professional responsibility, to design to broader parameters than current frameworks, like local building regulations, demand? These are really tough questions for a firm of consultants who compete in a global marketplace. When we contemplate the future, we may find ourselves wondering what we should be designing. I am Director for Global Foresight and Innovation... Have you ever considered that the route to a... Small modular reactors aren’t a new concept... Recent storms have focussed attention on coastal... Energy storage is vital for maximising the... To create a diverse engineering profession, the...