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The Art of Looking: What 11 Experts Teach Us about Seeing Our Familiar City Block with New Eyes

The Art of Looking: What 11 Experts Teach Us about Seeing Our Familiar City Block with New Eyes
by Maria Popova “Attention is an intentional, unapologetic discriminator. It asks what is relevant right now, and gears us up to notice only that.” “How we spend our days,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timelessly beautiful meditation on presence over productivity, “is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And nowhere do we fail at the art of presence most miserably and most tragically than in urban life — in the city, high on the cult of productivity, where we float past each other, past the buildings and trees and the little boy in the purple pants, past life itself, cut off from the breathing of the world by iPhone earbuds and solipsism. Horowitz begins by pointing our attention to the incompleteness of our experience of what we conveniently call “reality”: Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. The book was her answer to the disconnect, an effort to “attend to that inattention.” The perceptions of infants are remarkable.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/08/12/on-looking-eleven-walks-with-expert-eyes/

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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.

Banned TED Talk: Graham Hancock – The War on Consciousness Yet another TED talk banned by the TED community due to the challenge it poses to mainstream science. The talk was done at a TEDx conference and aired on the TEDx YouTube channel for a period of time before it was removed due to its content. After personally listening to this talk it is quite clear why it was censored. Category:Creativity Techniques This A to Z of Creativity and Innovation Techniques, provides an introduction to a range of tools and techniques for both idea generation (Creativity) and converting those ideas into reality (Innovation). Like most tools these techniques all have their good and bad points. I like to think of these creativity and innovation techniques as tools in a toolbox in much the same way as my toolbox at home for DIY. It has a saw, spanner, hammer, knife and all sorts of other things in it, they are all very useful, but you have to pick the right tool (creativity / Innovation technique) for each job. This site will try and provide a little guidance along with each tool to let you know whether it's best used for cutting paper or putting in nails.

How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Presence Over Productivity by Maria Popova “The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less.” The meaning of life has been pondered by such literary icons as Leo Tolstoy (1904), Henry Miller (1918), Anaïs Nin (1946), Viktor Frankl (1946), Italo Calvino (1975), and David Foster Wallace (2005). And though some have argued that today’s age is one where “the great dream is to trade up from money to meaning,” there’s an unshakable and discomfiting sense that, in our obsession with optimizing our creative routines and maximizing our productivity, we’ve forgotten how to be truly present in the gladdening mystery of life.

Debunking the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence by Maria Popova How top-down attention, feedback loops, and daydreaming play into the science of success. The question of what it takes to excel — to reach genius-level acumen at a chosen endeavor — has occupied psychologists for decades and philosophers for centuries. Groundbreaking research has pointed to “grit” as a better predictor of success than IQ, while psychologists have admonished against the dangers of slipping into autopilot in the quest for skill improvement. Ray Bradbury on Writing, Emotion vs. Intelligence, and the Core of Creativity by Maria Popova “You can only go with loves in this life.” Between 1973 and 1974, journalist James Day hosted the short-lived but wonderful public television interview series Day at Night. Among his guests was the inimitable Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920–June 5, 2012) — beloved writer, man of routine, tireless champion of space exploration, patron saint of public libraries, passionate proponent of doing what you love and writing with joy.

3 Things Mindfulness is Not. ~ Ruth Lera Via Ruth Leraon Apr 18, 2014 The experience of practicing mindfulness or meditation is one that is most often beyond words. There is an elusive quality to touching into the moment—and only this moment—that is hard to describe, perhaps impossible. However, in our North American perfectionist culture, which is obsessed with hating ourselves and constantly striving to be better, the word mindfulness has been usurped to mean many different things. 1. 7 Deadly Sins of Creativity Email Creativity is not just for artists and poets. Everybody has the potential to exercise their creative mind – to innovate new ways of accomplishing things that will ultimately make life easier and more gratifying. Creativity magnifies the effectiveness of our natural talents, generating elevated levels of success and happiness by helping us discover more efficient ways to do what we love to do. Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Salvador Dalí’s Rare, Erotic Vintage Cookbook by Maria Popova A surreally sensual love letter to the palate. “When I was six years old,” Salvador Dalí once professed, “I wanted to be a cook.” Kierkegaard on Anxiety & Creativity by Maria Popova “Because it is possible to create — creating one’s self, willing to be one’s self… — one has anxiety. One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever.” How Mind-Wandering and “Positive Constructive Daydreaming” Enhance Creativity and Improve Our Social Skills by Maria Popova The science of why fantasy and imaginative escapism are essential elements of a satisfying mental life. Freud asserted that daydreaming is essential to creative writing — something a number of famous creators and theorists intuited in asserting that unconscious processing is essential to how creativity works, from T. S.

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