Advertisements

Textbook wisdom

Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research. Take the theory of evolution. The topic itself lends to all types of discussions around race, identity, brain and body development. Aren’t we all just pond scum who lucked out on terra firma? This is not to say we […]

Advertisements

Does automation make us less human?

How much of our thought process do we want to relinquish to artificial intelligence? Even Gmail’s auto-replies takes the burden out of typing in two-word responses with pre-populated text likes “yes, great,” “sounds good,” or “awesome.” Soon enough the computers will be the only ones conversing and high-fiving each other. Just as the painter imitates […]

Everything goes in the queue

The queue is more of a scrapbook than a notebook. It’s a hopper of brain farts and observations brewing in all formats: text, images, video, and sound. It’s… Where ideas get stored and intermix Where content molds and takes shape Where visions incubate until the timing is ripe Where some concepts never the day of […]

What does it mean to be me?

Sociologist Erving Goffman believed that all human interaction was a theatrical performance. In his most famous book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Amazon), Goffman called his analysis the study of  “Dramaturgy.” Dramaturgical analysis is the idea that we present an edited version of our selves when we meet others in person. All the internet’s […]

The peripheral things

The periphery shapes reality. We consume everything through our phones and apps likes Instagram. These tools shape the message and our interpretation of the world. Things are rarely novel. What changes is the method in which items are delivered to human attention. People latch on to trends and make them feel new, no matter how […]

You are the one and only

‘Go out into the streets of Paris and pick out a cab driver. He will look to you very much like every other cab driver. But study him until you can describe him so that he is seen in your description to be an individual, different from every other cab driver in the world.”— Guy […]

Think for your selfie

Your first opinion is always someone else’s. There’s nothing wrong with that; that’s just the way we learn. At first, we copy, then we pursue our own version of the truth. The truly curious will spend time doing research and originating their own thought. Thinking takes a lot of work. You can spend years analyzing and combining disparate […]

Susan Sontag on taste

“For taste governs every free — as opposed to rote — human response. Nothing is more decisive. There is taste in people, visual taste, taste in emotion – and there is taste in acts, taste in morality. Intelligence, as well, is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas.” — Susan Sontag From the essay […]

Everything starts on paper 

Everything starts on paper. Whether you are using post-it notes or loose leaf, paper is ideal for getting down thoughts and mapping out ideas quickly. In fact, some Google employees prohibit phones and use paper exclusively to brainstorm. The magic of writing in analog is a controlled speed, flexibility, and focus. “Everyone can write words, draw boxes, […]

Note to Self

Oliver Sacks (RIP) used a different colored notebook for each of his ideas. He selected a green notebook to input his notes on philosophy. Had he grown up a Millennial, his notebook would be his phone. He might use Evernote to categorize his notes in different folders. He might dump them all into the default […]

What’s Your UBI?

My high school English teacher had another word for thesis. He called it UBI, for Unifying Big Idea. Anytime I get confused or frustrated because I can’t explain something, thinking about that acronym helps me simplify my thoughts. What’s the point? What am I trying to say, in a nutshell? One of the challenges of […]

Seth Godin: ‘If you’re in the idea business, it doesn’t matter where you’re from’

“If you’re in the idea business, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. It matters if we care about the change you’re making.” — Seth Godin