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The Art of Observation and How to Master the Crucial Difference Between Observation and Intuition

The Art of Observation and How to Master the Crucial Difference Between Observation and Intuition
by Maria Popova Why genius lies in the selection of what is worth observing. “In the field of observation,” legendary disease prevention pioneer Louis Pasteur famously proclaimed in 1854, “chance favors only the prepared mind.” “Knowledge comes from noticing resemblances and recurrences in the events that happen around us,” neuroscience godfather Wilfred Trotter asserted. That keen observation is what transmutes information into knowledge is indisputable — look no further than Sherlock Holmes and his exquisite mindfulness for a proof — but how, exactly, does one cultivate that critical faculty? From The Art of Scientific Investigation (public library; public domain) by Cambridge University animal pathology professor W. Though a number of celebrated minds favored intuition over rationality, and even Beveridge himself extolled the merits of the intuitive in science, he sides with modern-day admonitions about our tendency to mislabel other cognitive processes as “intuition” and advises: Related:  Creativity & IntuitionSTEMTips and Guidelines

Picasso on Intuition, How Creativity Works, and Where Ideas Come From by Maria Popova “To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing.” “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,” painter Chuck Close memorably scoffed. “Show up, show up, show up,” novelist Isabelle Allende echoed in her advice to aspiring writers, “and after a while the muse shows up, too.” Legendary composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky put it similarly in an 1878 letter to his benefactress: “A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood.” Picasso having lunch at the Brasserie Lipp, chatting with Pierre Matisse, Henri Matisse's son. This was one of the questions the famed Hungarian photographer Brassaï posed to Pablo Picasso over the course of their 30-year-long interview series, collected in Conversations with Picasso (public library) — the same superb 1964 volume that gave us Picasso on success and why you should never compromise creatively. I don’t have a clue. Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

Great Scientists Don't Need Math If You're Not Pissing Someone Off, You're Probably Not Innovating - Philip Auerswald by Philip Auerswald | 9:58 AM May 4, 2012 As the editor of the journal Innovations, I’m asked with some regularity, “So, what is innovation anyhow? How would you…”? I like this response because, if it doesn’t end the conversation, it usually shifts it from definitions to dynamics — which is what innovation is all about, after all. There’s nothing new here. To undertake such new things is difficult and constitutes a distinct economic function, first because they lie outside the routine tasks which everyone understands and, secondly, because the environment resists in many ways that will vary, according to social conditions, from simple refusal either to finance or buy a new thing, to physical attack on the man who tries to produce it. Since you, the disruptive entrepreneur, can count on incumbent resistance (if not necessarily physical attack) down the road once you’re successful, the question is: What can you do early on to be prepared for the onslaught? It was 1987. Here’s the point.

The Great Philosophers 10: Martin Heidegger The field is not without other distinguished contestants, but in the competitive history of incomprehensible German philosophers, Martin Heidegger must by any reckoning emerge as the overall victor. Nothing quite rivals the prose of his masterpiece Being and Time (1927) in terms of contortions and the sheer number of complex compound German words which the author coined, among them ‘Seinsvergessenheit’ (Forgetfulness of Being), ‘Bodenständigkeit’ (Rootedness-in-soil) and ‘Wesensverfassung’ (Essential Constitution). At first, it is likely to be puzzling and perhaps irritating, but gradually, one may warm to the style and understand that beneath its vaporous surface, Heidegger is telling us some simple, even at times homespun truths about the meaning of our lives, the sicknesses of our time and the routes to freedom. He was born, and in many ways remained, a rural provincial German, who loved picking mushrooms, walking in the countryside and going to bed early. © Getty Conclusion

Why are you, you? - Janice Bergen I would say the typical answer of who I am is the product of my Mom and Dad and how much they loved each other. I am also their convictions and perseverance in raising me to be a good person. I would also say their continued support is still changing and molding me to this day. The joy of spending an afternoon with my Mom over a cup of really good tea is a treasure I hold deep in my heart. I am me because of my friends who show me a different side of life. I am me because of my son. I am me because of...well me....I love life. Trying Not to Try: How to Cultivate the Paradoxical Art of Spontaneity Through the Chinese Concept of Wu-Wei by Maria Popova “Our modern conception of human excellence is too often impoverished, cold, and bloodless. Success does not always come from thinking more rigorously or striving harder.” “The best way to get approval is not to need it,” Hugh MacLeod memorably counseled. Slingerland frames the paradoxical premise at the heart of his book with an illustrative example: a game called Mindball at his local science museum in Vancouver, in which two players sit opposite one another, each wearing an electrode-equipped headband that registers general activity in the brain, and try to mentally push a metal ball from the center of the table to the other player; whoever does this first wins. The motive force — measured by each player’s electrodes, and conveyed to the ball by a magnet hidden underneath the table—is the combination of alpha and theta waves produced by the brain when it’s relaxed: the more alpha and theta waves you produce, the more force you mentally exert on the ball. Share on Tumblr

To predict student success, there’s no place like home: UF study GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Current school reform efforts, like No Child Left Behind, emphasize teacher quality as the most important factor in student success, but University of Florida researchers have identified another, stunningly accurate predictor of classroom performance — the student’s home address. Right down to the neighborhood and street number. The researchers attribute their finding to a profound correlation they documented between home location, family lifestyles and students’ achievement on state standardized tests. “The core philosophy of school reform today is that effective schools and quality teaching can correct all learning problems, including those of poor minority students who are most at risk, and if they fail it’s the educators’ fault,” said Harry Daniels, professor of counselor education at UF’s College of Education and lead investigator of the study. “The testing patterns in both counties virtually mirrored each other,” Daniels said. Credits Writer

8 Visionaries on How They Spot the Future | Epicenter Paul Saffo A longtime technology forecaster, Saffo is a managing director at the Silicon Valley investment research firm Discern. Formerly the director of the Institute for the Future, he is also a consulting professor in Stanford University’s engineering department. There are four indicators I look for: contradictions, inversions, oddities, and coincidences. In 2007 stock prices and gold prices were both soaring. The second indicator is an inversion, where you see something that’s out of place. Then there are oddities. Finally, there are coincidences. Illustration: Andrew Zbihlyj; Brant Ward/Corbis Pages: 1 2345678View All Why Consciousness Exists: Douglas Rushkoff on Science, God, and the Purpose of Reality by Maria Popova What to make of the fact “that something wonderfully strange is going on in the dimension we call reality.” “If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from,” Carl Sagan wrote in his magnificent meditation on science and spirituality, “we will have failed.” Joining that canon of intellectual elegance is media analyst, documentarian, and writer Douglas Rushkoff with his contribution to This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress (public library) — that mind-stretching volume by Edge founder John Brockman, who posed before 175 of the world’s greatest scientists, philosophers, and writers the certainty-rattling question: “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?” Rushkoff points the skeptical prod of his answer at “the atheism prerequisite” — atheism, of course, being a case of our curious tendency to define what we are by what we are not — and writes: Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

trisema : Ya empezó el Workshop... Intuition Pumps: Daniel Dennett on the Dignity and Art-Science of Making Mistakes by Maria Popova “The chief trick to making good mistakes is not to hide them — especially not from yourself.” “If you are not making mistakes, you’re not taking enough risks,” Debbie Millman counseled. “Make New Mistakes. Though most of his 77 “intuition pumps” address concrete questions, a dozen are “general-purpose” tools that apply deeply and widely, across just about any domain of thinking. Echoing Dorion Sagan’s case for why science and philosophy need each other, Dennett begins with an astute contribution to the best definitions of philosophy, wrapped in a necessary admonition about the value of history: The history of philosophy is in large measure the history of very smart people making very tempting mistakes, and if you don’t know the history, you are doomed to making the same darn mistakes all over again. … There is no such thing as philosophy-free science, just science that has been conducted without any consideration of its underlying philosophical assumptions. Share on Tumblr

Science Minus Science I'm worried that science classes are becoming unscientific. Typically, science classes are supposed to teach not only how the world works, but also how to think scientifically. Lately, however, our mentality has been marginalized to make time for teaching students all the theory that eventual college students should know. Because our theories are complex, with intricacies that would be cruel and unusual to inflict upon unsuspecting pupils, such a curriculum requires teachers to be frugal with the facts: they must prune tangential subjects and pare whatever's left, watering down complicated results into simplified half-truths. They must avoid the imperfect boundaries of our knowledge, instead concentrating on an idealized and sanitized account of what we know. In modern science classrooms, students must still swallow a deluge of unfamiliar scientific dogma in time to regurgitate it onto an exam. Facility with scientific concepts and language is not such a bad skill to have.

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers In the beginning, there was just you and your partners. You did every job. You coded, you met with investors, you emptied the trash and phoned in the midnight pizza. Now you have others to do all that and it's time for you to "be strategic." Whatever that means. If you find yourself resisting "being strategic," because it sounds like a fast track to irrelevance, or vaguely like an excuse to slack off, you're not alone. This is a tough job, make no mistake. After two decades of advising organizations large and small, my colleagues and I have formed a clear idea of what's required of you in this role. Anticipate Most of the focus at most companies is on what’s directly ahead. Look for game-changing information at the periphery of your industrySearch beyond the current boundaries of your businessBuild wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better Think Critically “Conventional wisdom” opens you to fewer raised eyebrows and second guessing. Interpret Ambiguity is unsettling. Decide