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.
Everything is contrived, from the glowing burger buns, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, to the juicy fresh meat. Video takes food advertising even further, making it come alive from its static state.
Table top advertising or food marketing is no different than any other product marketing: the illusion never matches with the reality of creating it. In reality, the food has been dressed up and augmented to look fresh and mouth watering like those lobsters in Red Lobster commercials.
Fashion advertising is similar. The model is always more enticing wearing makeup and sporting a six pack. When models make commercials, they never smile. Bad assery sells.
Not surprisingly, food porn and selfies are huge on Instagram too, the people’s marketing platform. A little bit of shoot preparation and filters make both food and faces look better than they actually are.
Today, anyone can use technology to create a Hollywood look. Everyone’s deceiving and buying lies at the same time. We all desire better versions of ourselves, including what appears on our plates.
It had that barbershop vibe, the relaxed atmosphere where people kicked back, dug the crates, and talked music.
There were posters and promotional displays but they couldn’t outshine the album artwork. Marketing started from the bottom up. Consumption was based on peer recommendations.
The record shop was a place of giver’s gain, where the information shared upfront by one crate digger to another got reciprocated down the road.
Back then, music collecting was truly social. Today, social algorithms make recommendations.
While the data is getting smarter, popularity reigns because the wisdom of crowds leans popular, making music suggestions more mimetic and less random. Pop music exists because people are too shallow, lazy, or genuinely uninterested in looking deeper.
You only need to listen to a few DJs and curators to know what’s good. These are the same crate diggers you used to speak to in the record stores which are now mostly nonexistent.
Taste is not universal. It’s personal yet relatable and trustworthy, especially if it’s coming from a respected source.
Stepping into a particular record store once meant openness and experimentation, the willingness to try new sounds and share tracks with others.
In the absence of music shops, music lost some of its frequency and culture fell on deaf ears.
In his blog post on breaking phone addiction, Erik Barker uses a quote from NYU marketing and psychology professor Adam Antler to explain why we keep checking our phones again and again. The process is called a “ludic loop.”
The “ludic loop” is this idea that when you’re engaged in an addictive experience, like playing slot machines, you get into this lulled state of tranquility where you just keep doing the thing over and over again. It just becomes the comfortable state for you. You don’t stop until you’re shaken out of that state by something.
So how we do we keep ourselves from going down the Facebook and Instagram rabbit hole? We employ a “stopping rule.”
It’s a rule that says at this point it’s time for me to stop. It breaks the reverie and makes you think of something else; it gets you outside of the space you’ve been in. The best thing to do is to use a declarative statement like, “I don’t watch more than two episodes of a show in a row, that’s just not who I am.”
As Barker points, you can also remove the dopamine hitting apps from your phone and replace them with something useful like the Kindle app to encourage more reading. And in the worst case scenario, you can throw your phone into the ocean, or just leave it in an inconvenient place to prevent the urge to take another futile gamble.