Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work Science

Eureka moments are a myth 💡

In 1726, an Apple dropped from a tree and hit the elder physicist Isaac Newton on the head.  It was then he discovered insight into gravity. Or so the story goes. 

In reality, he had already done a lot of his thinking while staring at the surrounding apple trees. Newton’s friend and biographer William Stukeley wrote: “Occasion’d by the fall of an apple, as he sat in contemplative mood.” 

We polish stories, embellish them, so they’re more memorable and thus more shareable. To quote librarian Keith Moore, the Newton story is “an 18th-century sound bite.”

There is no such thing as a Eureka moment. Light-bulb moments arise because we’ve already spent a long time thinking about them and letting the subconscious do its work.

It’s no surprise that big ideas seem to happen in dull moments when we’re in the shower or doing the dishes. Ideas also come to us during rest. A resting mind still hungers for stimulation because creativity is always awake.

This is also why planning unscheduled time is so vital to the work process. We have to get out of our own heads so we can think with more clarity.

Eureka moments are a myth. They occur when we’re thinking without thinking. The right ‘creative’ brain is always on. It splits duties with the left brain to interpret various phenomena.

Categories
Tech

We have reached peak screen

The smartphone hypnotizes us into screen glaring addicts.

We have zero control of our attention and it makes us feel like we’re losing our mind. Writes Farhad Manjoo in his piece We Have Reached Peek Screen:

Screens are insatiable. At a cognitive level, they are voracious vampires for your attention, and as soon as you look at one, you are basically toast.

There are studies that bear this out. One, by a team led by Adrian Ward, a marketing professor at the University of Texas’ business school, found that the mere presence of a smartphone within glancing distance can significantly reduce your cognitive capacity. Your phone is so irresistible that when you can see it, you cannot help but spend a lot of otherwise valuable mental energy trying to not look at it.

The companies Apple and Google who got us hooked in the first place are now trying to reduce screen time by outsourcing things like to-do’s to voice assistants like Siri.

If Apple could only improve Siri, its own voice assistant, the Watch and AirPods could combine to make something new: a mobile computer that is not tied to a huge screen, that lets you get stuff done on the go without the danger of being sucked in. Imagine if, instead of tapping endlessly on apps, you could just tell your AirPods, “Make me dinner reservations at 7” or “Check with my wife’s calendar to see when we can have a date night this week.”

That candy-colored rectangular glow is too seductive, a trap that leads into a ludic loop of distraction. It’s about time the tech heads, like car companies did with seat belts, are doing something to preserve our neurological safety.

Categories
Creativity Culture

The unclassifiable

When we stop becoming someone for everyone, we start to find the right people instead.

That’s not to say we want to remain unknown or unclassifiable. One can still ride the wave of uniqueness and make a big splash.

Do you think Radiohead cares about the pop charts? The band thrives at the fringes, showing fans where sound could be headed, not where it’s been.

People love Apple because they make instruments for creativity you never knew you’d need. It also gives its customers, the curators and creators, all the spotlight.

We don’t have to dumb down our work for the masses when we can make more interesting things for the micro. Wider adoption, should it happen, happens to the ideas worth spreading.

Categories
Tech Video

Watch Steve Jobs introduce the original iMac

Watch Steve Jobs introduce the original iMac

“We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us,” said philosopher Marshall McLuhan. Twenty years ago today, Steve Jobs released the original iMac. I own the exact one Steve Jobs presents on stage. And he’s right, the back is still just as beautiful as the front.

Writes The Loop:

The original iMac popularized technologies like USB in computers, and help end others like the floppy drive. I remember being so happy to see Apple go back to its all-in-one roots with the iMac, but they did so much more than copy an old idea.

Apple reinvented what it meant to have a computer. It wasn’t a beige box you hid under your desk; it was an atheistically pleasing piece of your home or workplace that people were eager to show off. That philosophy has been with iMac for the last 20 years.

People have asked me over the years what is my favorite iMac. I have to say its the original because I believe it saved the company. That gave Apple the room to invent iPod, iPhone, MacBook and all of the other products. Without iMac, Apple would not be the company it is today.

You can watch the presentation in its entirety below:

Categories
Creativity Tech

The Connection Machine that inspired Steve Jobs

The Connection Machine that inspired Steve Jobs #apple #stevejobs #tech #design #art

Product designer and mechanical engineer Tamiko Thiel turned computers into sculptures in the early 1980s before the Macintosh came out. Said Thiel:

“The general image of computers was IBM computers, racks of electronics. They looked like refrigerators or heating units. They didn’t have any identity”

Years later she found out that Steve Jobs wanted to hire her to design the NeXT computer. But she had already gone on to Germany to be an artist.

Nevertheless, her geometric reinterpretation of the computer continues to inspire the modern yet futuristic hardware designs we see in iPhones and gadgets today.

The Connection Machine machine now features in MOMA’s exhibition Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959–1989.

Categories
Creativity Tech

Remembering Steve Jobs: ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’ 📱

Steve Jobs died six years ago today. He was 56 years old. His uniqueness, unconventional leadership, and big-picture thinking will never be forgotten.

Jobs made tech fashionable. He made sure to remind us that we are the creators.

Below are some of my favorite Jobs’ quotes along with a video (see above) where he shares his vision of the world:

“Make something wonderful, and put it out there.”

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.’

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Categories
Arts Psychology

‘This is not an apple’

You can go ahead and try to eat this apple. But the representation of the apple is pure fiction; you can’t eat it. It is a mere rendering of something you could consume. Like a map, it displays territory that exists only in mind.

Nonetheless, the picture provokes all the emotions that go in eating a real apple: the unpeeled texture, the juiciness, and sugary smell.

The first taste is always with your eyes. The imagination recasts the image into a vicarious eating experience that triggers your hunger.

Pictures inherently lie just as the lines fabricate the authenticity of lines of territory on a map. What it is is the robust interpretation of the present in the fairytale of the movie-making mind. The dimension is here and now, neurologically tangible, but you still can’t touch it.

The marketing is only as good as what you tell yourself.

Categories
Apps

Pokemon Go shatters app store records

Pokemon Go is on ?. According to Apple, the game has generated more downloads in its first week than any other app in the store’s history. It also means Apple is making bank, reportedly bringing in $3 billion in revenue.

Kids are exercising again. Nintendo is on the comeback. And Apple has its first hit app since picture-based networks Instagram and Snapchat.

Categories
Uncategorized

Sunday Social Roundup

  1. Facebook is following in the footsteps of Snapchat and exploring expiring content. Finally, Facebook realizes that competing against Snapchat with Slingshot is a waste of time. People just want additional popular features in the existing Facebook, not entirely new apps.

  2. Apple introduced the iPhone 6, 6+, and it’s Smart watch this week. I went ahead and ordered the 6+ because I’m still running with the inferior camera of the iPhone 5. Bigger is better, I hope. Oh, and Apple also introduced Apple Pay, which plans to replace the physical credit card and turn your phone into a digital wallet. Finally. Is the TV next?

  3. Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter plan to take on YouTube in the bid to attract video stars. I finally realized why these YouTube video stars have more fans than brands on YouTube, because they act like they’re your friend.

  4. Will Ferrell is challenging gamers to raise money for charity. Donators will be able to win the opportunity to play with the actor which to be broadcasted on Twitch. What I love about this is using a recognizable face and a new platform (Twitch) to support a good cause.

  5. You’ll never win an argument on social media because it’s too democratic a platform (everyone has a microphone) and its too fast. The only good news is that the arguments are ephemeral as people quickly look for the next chance to opine.

Categories
Uncategorized

Sunday Social Roundup

  1. Your iCloud is hackable. A bunch of celebrity nude selfies appeared this week on 4Chan. Anything in the cloud should require [two factor authentication](Dave pogue tweet), whatever that means.

  2. Now you easily convert any YouTube video into a GIF. Excuse me: I’ll be putting together a compilation of Michael Jordan dunks and posting them on Tumblr.

  3. Apple plans to announce both the iWatch and the new iPhone 6 this week. The watch is supposed to cost over $400 and per Johnny Ive, put a lot of watchmakers out of business. The iPhone 6 promises to become the true digital wallet. For real this time.

  4. I was on vacation when Facebook launched Slingshot, the apparent Snapchat competitor. Let’s just say the app updated this week and I’ve still yet to try it. Facebook has passed the point of innovation and Snapchat is not selling out, yet.

  5. Dunkin Donuts opened up in LA and customers celebrated with their coffee hauls. I may just need to love back to California now.