When Will this Low-Innovation Internet Era End?

“Then there’s another view, which I heard from author Neal Stephenson in an MIT lecture hall last week. A hundred years from now, he said, we might look back on the late 20th and early 21st century and say, “It was an actively creative society. Then the Internet happened and everything got put on hold for a generation.”

Read more

Source : HBR

Work as an individual

An individual who has to make things for the use of others, and with reference to their wants and their wishes, does not work with interest, and consequently cannot put into his work what is best in him.

Source : The Soul of Man under Socialism

The method

First, the gathering of raw materials-both the materials of your immediate problem and the materials which come from a constant enrichment of your store of general knowledge. Second, the working over of these materials in your mind. Third, the incubating stage, where you let something beside the conscious mind do the work of synthesis. Fourth, the actual birth of the Idea-the “Eureka! I have it!” stage. And fifth, the final shaping and development of the idea to practical usefulness.

Source : A Technique for Producing Ideas

Quote of the week – Education

And although literacy rates are notoriously difficult to assess, there is sufficient evidence (mostly drawn from signatures) that between 1640 and 1700, the literacy rate for men in Massachusetts and Connecticut was somewhere between 89 percent and 95 percent, quite probably the highest concentration of literate males to be found anywhere in the world at that time.2 (The literacy rate for women in those colonies is estimated to have run as high as 62 percent in the years 1681-1697.3)

– Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Quote of the week

It used to be that work was based on a legacy of the reforming of the industrial revolution, 9-5 work with overtime etc. In the last 10 years many of us have taken the leap into a digital working future, which instead of freeing us from this rigid work structure has in fact made working into a 24 / 7 working week and has allowed it to invade every part of our lives. How can we take a step back and regain some balance? The articles in this week’s collection all look at that problem and deal with in very different ways.

– KP

To describe a problem is part of the solution. This implies: not to make creative decisions as promoted by feeling but by intellectual criteria. The more exact and complete these criteria are, the more creative the work becomes. The creative process is to be reduced to an act of selection. Designing means : to pick out determining elements and combining them.

– Karl Gerstner

Top artists reveal how to find creative inspiration

Routine is really important. However late you went to bed the night before, or however much you had to drink, get up at the same time each day and get on with it. When I was composing [the opera] Anna Nicole, I was up at 5 or 6am, and worked through until lunch. The afternoon is the worst time for creativity.

Read more

Source : The Guardian

#16 Collected Reading – Thinking about the present

Thinking about the present

A collection of thoughts around thinking, work and how to be in the present. 

“Today is a gift.
That is why they call it the present.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

1. Distraction

“Finally, it is generally agreed that no activity can be successfully pursued by an individual who is preoccupied – no rhetoric or liberal studies – since the mind when distracted absorbs nothing deeply, but rejects everything which is, so to speak , crammed into it.” – Seneca

Distraction, Culture, Self

Source :On the Shortness of Life

2. Collective Rationality

“The commission gave me the a wonderful opportunity to test my favorite hypothesis about collective rationality, which is that if you put people of strongly opposing views in a room together, and infuse their discussion with data, background studies, and unhurried time for debate, it is possible to bridge seemingly irreconcilable positions among the members of the group.” – Jeffery Sachs

Thinking, Collaboration, Global, Facts

Source : The End of Poverty


3. Ithaca

“Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind
To arrive there is what you are destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for many years,
So you’re old by the time you reach the isle,
Wealthy with all you have gained on the way
And not expecting Ithaca to make you rich”

-C.P Cavafy

Journey, Life, Culture

Source : The Age of Absurdity

4. Ego

“The man who can center his thoughts and hopes upon something transcending self can find a certain peace in the ordinary troubles of life which is impossible to the pure egoist.” – Bertrand Russell

environment,global,policy

Source : The Conquest of Happiness

5. The Individual

“An individual who has to make things for the use of others, and with reference to their wants and their wishes, does not work with interest, and consequently cannot put into his work what is best in him.” – Oscar Wilde

– Collected reading editorial note : This quote when taken on face value can seem silly. My interpretation of it is that individuals are not disconnected from society’s needs and as such understand them as part of their own reality. Therefore, by solving your own problems you also contribute to solving the issues of many fellow citizens through your own particular lens on culture.

Individuality, Creativity, Work

Source : The Soul of Man Under Socialism

Hope you like this collection. Please comment, share and most of all enjoy.

– Kaushik

#6 Collected Reading : May 29th 2011

Quote of the week

“After visiting the slums of the metropolis, one realises for the first time that these Londoners have been forced to sacrifice the best qualities of their human nature, to bring to pass all the marvels of civilisation which crowd their city.” – Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844.

1.Single payer healthcare: Vermont’s gentle revolution

“Vermont hired Harvard economist William Hsiao to come up with three alternatives to the current system. The single payer system, Hsiao wrote, “will produce savings of 24.3% of total health expenditure between 2015 and 2024”

Health, Policy, Politics

Source :  The Guardian

2. Unspoken Truths

“Simon Hoggart of The Guardian (son of the author of The Uses of Literacy), who about 35 years ago informed me that an article of mine was well argued but dull, and advised me briskly to write “more like the way that you talk. – Christopher Hitchens”

Creativity, Voice, Life

Source :  Vanity Fair


3. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood poised to prosper in post-Mubarak new era

 “But Muntasser al-Zayyat, a prominent Islamist lawyer, believes the Ikhwan could end up controlling as much as 60% of parliament – because their secular and liberal rivals are divided and far less experienced than ex-members of Mubarak’s now disbanded National Democratic party, who are likely to stand as independents in their old constituencies.” 

Social, Networks, Culture

Source :  The Guardian

4. Tale of two halves reunited after a 360-year separation

“The art historian is passionate about this painting, one of about 650,000 treasures moved from China to Taiwan in the last stages of the Chinese civil war that are now on display in the Taipei museum or stored in its vault..”

Art, History, Curation

Source : The Independent

5. Social Media Distractions Are Costing Businesses Major Money [STUDY]

“While these distractions are money-wasters for companies, they also negatively effect individuals’ ability to creatively solve problems, think deeply about work-related issues, efficiently process information and meet deadlines.”

Media, Work

Source :  Mashable

Hope you like this collection. Please comment, share and most of all enjoy.

– Kaushik