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10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People

10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People
Editor's Note: This is one of the most-read leadership articles of 2013. Click here to see the full list. I frequently find myself thinking about whether I am an artist or an entrepreneur. I am simply trying my best to create my own unique path. It is safe to say that more and more entrepreneurs are artists, and artists of all kinds are entrepreneurs. Creativity is the common theme that drives both entrepreneurs and artists alike. Over this past Labor Day weekend, I found myself reading excerpts from distinguished professor of psychology and management Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (pronounced me-HIGH chick-sent-me-HIGH-ee) seminal book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People (HarperCollins, 1996). He writes: "I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. Without the passion, we soon lose interest in a difficult task. 10.

More About D-Language, And Why Facebook Is Experimenting With It It's been nearly a decade since Mark Zuckerberg launched what would become the world's largest social network. Since those early days, Facebook's infrastructure and code have evolved, with some of it collecting dust over time. On Friday, the company took a small step in a new direction when an engineer added 5,112 lines of code written in the D language to Facebook's repository. So what's all the fuss about? 1Reaction For a member of this family of object-oriented programming languages, D is a relative youngster. "It's the first battle signaling the end of Middle Earth, and the rise of the Age of D," Walter Bright writes with geeky optimism. Explaining the impetus behind the creation of D, my colleague Kit Eaton writes: It's been created because C++ had to maintain backwards compatibility with C, and that as C++ itself has expanded the language's new features have simply added to the complexity of the standard--a document that's now over 750 pages long. This is the idea behind D.

Secrets of the Creative Brain As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies creativity, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted and high-profile subjects over the years, but Kurt Vonnegut—dear, funny, eccentric, lovable, tormented Kurt Vonnegut—will always be one of my favorites. Kurt was a faculty member at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the 1960s, and participated in the first big study I did as a member of the university’s psychiatry department. I was examining the anecdotal link between creativity and mental illness, and Kurt was an excellent case study. He was intermittently depressed, but that was only the beginning. While mental illness clearly runs in the Vonnegut family, so, I found, does creativity. For many of my subjects from that first study—all writers associated with the Iowa Writers’ Workshop—mental illness and creativity went hand in hand. Compared with many of history’s creative luminaries, Vonnegut, who died of natural causes, got off relatively easy.

This Is What Happens When Top Architects Design Doll Houses A 750mm square plinth is a pretty feeble plot of land for a house-building project. It’s a good thing the clients were pint-sized because that’s all the room architects were given by U.K.-based regeneration property developers, Cathedral Group, who recently commissioned 20 architects and designers to create whimsical dolls’ houses to raise money for KIDS, a U.K. charity for disabled children. Other than miniscule proportions the only design requirement was the integration of a unique feature to make life easier for a disabled child. Cathedral’s project was inspired by the dolls' house Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1922: in his nod to innovation he used a traditional dolls’ house to illustrate his vision for the future of architecture and interior design. The Grimm House: RAAD, in collaboration with artist Lara Apponyi RAAD’s James Ramsey came late to the tea party: his agency was invited to participate one week before models were due.

The Power of Process: What Young Mozart Teaches Us About the Secret of Cultivating Genius by Maria Popova On the “powerful blend of instruction, encouragement, and constant practice.” “The trick to creativity … is to identify your own peculiar talent and then to settle down to work with it for a good long time,” observed Denise Shekerjian in reflecting on her insightful interviews with MacArthur “genius” grantees. “Success is the product of the severest kind of mental and physical application,” attested Thomas Edison. In The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ (public library), David Shenk presents a rigorously researched blend of historical evidence and scientific data to debunk the myth that genius is a special gift serendipitously bestowed upon the chosen few and shows, instead, that it is the product of consistent, concentrated effort, applied in the direction of one’s natural inclination. Anonymous portrait of the child Mozart, possibly by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni; painted in 1763 on commission from Leopold Mozart (public domain)

8 Subconscious Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day--And How To Avoid Them Editor's Note: This is one of the most-read leadership articles of 2013. Click here to see the full list. Get ready to have your mind blown. I was seriously shocked at some of these mistakes in thinking that I subconsciously make all the time. Obviously, none of them are huge, life-threatening mistakes, but they are really surprising and avoiding them could help us make more rational, sensible decisions. Especially since we strive for self-improvement at Buffer, if we look at our values, being aware of the mistakes we naturally have in our thinking can make a big difference in avoiding them. Regardless, I think it’s fascinating to learn more about how we think and make decisions every day, so let’s take a look at some of these habits of thinking that we didn’t know we had. 1. We tend to like people who think like us. This is called confirmation bias. It’s similar to how improving our body language can also actually change who we are as people. 2. 3. or 4. Well, no. 5. 6. 7. The lesson here?

Praise versus Encouragement Most of us believe that we need to praise our children more. However, there is some controversy regarding this point. If we always reward a child with praise after a task is completed, then the child comes to expect it. However, if praise is not forthcoming, then its absence may be interpreted by the child as failure. One of the main differences between praise and encouragement is that praise often comes paired with a judgment or evaluation, such as "best" or "highest" in these examples. According to Bolton (1979, pg 181): Evaluative praise is the expression of favorable judgment about another person or his behaviors: "Eric, you are such a good boy." According to Ginott (1965): Evaluative praise.....creates anxiety, invites dependency, and evokes defensiveness. According to Taylor (1979): A real life experience, illustrating these principles, was provided by the well know cellist, Gregor Piatigorsky (1965). "Mr. "Bravo! "Splendid! Bewildered, I left the house. Sam: It's scary. Mr. Mr. Mr.

How A Company Gets Away With Stealing Independent Designers' Work You've probably never heard of Cody Foster & Co. That doesn't matter, though, because if you're an independent artist, designer, or illustrator, there's a good chance Cody Foster has heard of you. In fact, the company may already be selling works based upon your designs to retail clients such as Nordstrom, Madewell, Anthropologie, Terrain, and And, legally, there might not be a thing that anyone can do about it. Who Is Cody Foster & Co.? From the outside, Cody Foster seems like a quaint enough company. That's one way of putting it. Allegations Against Cody Foster In 2011 and 2012, Congdon drew a series of illustrations featuring Nordic animals (including a reindeer and a polar bear) wearing uniquely patterned red-and-green jackets. "If it had been less blatant, I would have thought twice about going public with this," says Congdon, who published a post about Cody Foster on her blog this week. Speaking to Co.Design, Abigail Brown said: "I'm furious. And those legal fees?

The Science Of Comic Sans One of the funniest McSweeney's pieces you'll ever read is a message to haters from the font Comic Sans. Slighted by the perception that he's "pedestrian and tacky," Mr. Sans argues he's actually "the life of the party." He shreds a double-necked Stratocaster, races Tokyo gangsters, and sleeps with prom queens. And at the end he goes and gets drunk with Papyrus. It's not news that typefaces have distinct personalities. "Academics are doing a better job of understanding how typeface choice affects the emotional responses we can expect from the viewer or reader," Nicole Amare, a communications scholar at the University of South Alabama, tells Co.Design. (Technical note: Fonts differ from typefaces in the way MP3s differ from songs; one is a delivery mechanism, the other a creative item. People have been assigning character to typeface for ages. Studies done in the past decade or so have identified the range of type traits with more precision. Unless we're talking about Comic Sans.

Advice From 7 Women Leaders Who Navigated The Male-Dominated Tech Scene “There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once famously said. The truth is that nobody reaches the top without help and support from others. Every successful entrepreneur, executive, and leader has benefited from guidance, advice, or mentorship throughout his or her career that helped solve introspective questions, overcome career challenges, and propel him or her forward toward their ultimate potential. Seven female executives shared their advice for young entrepreneurial women aspiring to be in their shoes one day, and what it takes to get there. Be ruthlessly, unendingly curious Megan Quinn, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Megan Quinn, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, advised aspiring female investors to be relentlessly curious, hungry to learn, and have first-hand experience working at a startup to gain understanding of what it takes to build a successful company.

Finally, A 3-D Printer That Can Sculpt With Silicone, Nutella, Or Pretty Much Anything Viscous Most 3-D printers are great at turning designs into solid structures, but can only build with one or two types of solid plastic. But a new Kickstarter campaign from Ontario-based Structur3D Printing offers an aftermarket add-on letting common printers work with a wide variety of gel materials to produce everything from silicone-based orthotic shoe inserts to custom cake toppers printed from icing sugar. The Structur3D team decided early on not to try to jump into the crowded 3-D printer market by producing their own complete unit and to focus instead on expanding the capabilities of existing hardware, says cofounder and R&D director Andrew Finkle. "One of the first things that we decided, because we are materials engineers, [is that] we wanted to focus on just the system that deposited the material," says Finkle, who's completing a PhD at the University of Waterloo. And working with edible materials can make experimenting with 3-D printing more fun for kids, says Finkle.