background preloader

Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial 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.

Related:  Food for thought

On Self-Promotion You are a shameless self promoter!” he said. I can’t speak to the “shame” part, but for the rest: guilty as charged. Self-promotion may appear revolting, but it’s the only promotion that’s guaranteed in this business. Why is sustainability seen as a rollercoaster for business leaders? If you really want to know what's going on in the minds of executives when it comes to embedding sustainability, then look no further than the business coaches they pour their hearts out to. "I feel like I've been on a rollercoaster" is one of the most common complaints that executive coach John Blakey hears. Blakey, co-author of Challenging Coaching, suggests individuals' fears of being out of control, of failure, ridicule, isolation, being left behind, and of the sheer complexity and speed of work lives are among the biggest obstacles to driving the sustainability agenda forward. When Blakey hears the rollercoaster comment, he now tries to add in some humour: "I say, 'That sounds exciting. If I want to go on a rollercoaster, I have to go to Alton Towers and pay for it.'" "They get that things need change, they get that as leaders, they need to lead the change.

nervous system Humans, like all living organisms, can respond to their environment. Humans have two complimentary control systems to do this: the nervous system and the endocrine (hormonal) system. The human nervous system controls everything from breathing and producing digestive enzymes, to memory and intelligence. Nerve Cells [back to top] On Scientific Taste by Maria Popova “Our taste derives from the summation of all that we have learnt from others, experienced and thought.” Cambridge University animal pathology professor W. I. B. Beveridge’s 1957 gem The Art of Scientific Investigation (public library; public domain) is the gift that keeps on giving.

7 Ways Noise Affects Your Health We are surrounded by sound. From coworker chit-chat to the sounds of traffic outside to that tinny trace of music coming from a co-commuter’s earbuds, we often don’t consider the noise that makes up our daily environments. But the truth is that the distant jackhammers, incessant elevator bells and even the whistling and humming of the people around us can have a real effect on our health and wellness.

The 10 Tech Terms to Know in 2013 Cognitive Radio The airways are getting crowded, thanks to smartphone and tablet data transmission that doubles every year. One solution: cognitive radio devices, whose signals automatically jump back and forth between frequencies in a fraction of a second to find open spectrum. A prototype developed at Rutgers University can switch to a new frequency in less than 50 microseconds while sending eight times the data of a typical home wireless system, taking advantage of openings on the AM and FM radio, TV, and cellular frequency bands. And Florida-based xG Technology has already set up a demo network in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that uses cognitive radio for mobile broadband and VoIP links. Crucially, the FCC announced in September a pending rule change that will pave the way for spectrum-sharing technologies such as cognitive radio to use previously restricted frequencies.

Remembering Ray Bradbury with 11 Timeless Quotes on Joy, Failure, Writing, Creativity, and Purpose by Maria Popova The literary hero in his own words. What a tragic season it’s been for literary heroes who defined generations of readers and creators. Last month, we lost Maurice Sendak, and this week, Ray Bradbury — beloved author, champion of curiosity, relentless advocate of libraries — passed way at the age of 91. To celebrate his life and legacy, here are eleven of his most timeless insights on writing, culture, creativity, failure, happiness, and more. On doing what you love, in this wonderful 2008 video interview from the National Endowment for the Arts:

FREE Interactive Learning OpenCourseware from MIT, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, U Houston, USC, UCLA, Khan Academy, NPTEL General description: Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication. The scientific study of language in any of its senses is called linguistics. The approximately 3,000–6,000 languages that are spoken by humans today are the most salient examples, but natural languages can also be based on visual rather than auditory stimuli, for example in sign languages and written language. Codes and other kinds of artificially constructed communication systems such as those used for computer programming can also be called languages.