Sharing beyond the classroom and cubicle

Here are some of the observations and insights that were shared via Twitter this past week.

Brain Rule #2: “There is no greater anti-brain environment than the classroom and cubicle. ~ John Medina” via @chriscognito

When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course. ~ Peter F. Drucker” via @montberte

@gapingvoid: “Conversations” are fine and dandy, but eventually one actually has to get some work done.

How creativity works: What Broadway musicals really teach us about collaboration. – via @TimKastelle

[Conclusion]: The global nature of Q—and the difficulty of using global measures to craft local strategies—might be a disappointment for business people who want to use the lessons of Broadway to out-innovate the competition. But it shouldn’t be. The new social science of complex networks is addressing a different kind of problem, a deeper and potentially more important one. This research is concerned less with how to construct teams to maximize their creativity than with the question of what kind of society maximizes everyone’s creativity. And real progress on that front would be something worth singing and dancing about.

[Note on Q]: It’s made up of two parts. The first is the average number of connections you need to join two random people in a network. That number can be surprisingly small, even in a very big network; for example, you can connect two random Facebook users, on average, with a chain that’s less than five friends long. The second part of Q measures the extent to which two people who are connected to the same person are likely to be connected to each other: the “clusteredness” of the network.

Psychology Today: How Da Vinci Got His Ideas – via @marloft

When you make a connection between two unrelated subjects, your imagination will leap to fill the gaps and form a whole in order to make sense of it. Suppose you are watching a mime impersonating a man taking his dog out for a walk. The mime’s arm is outstretched as though holding the dog’s leash. As the mime’s arm is jerked back and forth, you “see” the dog straining at the leash to sniff this or that. The dog and the leash become the most real part of the scene even though there is no dog or leash. In the same way, when you make connections between your subject and something that is totally unrelated, your imagination fills in the gaps to create new ideas. It is this willingness to use your imagination to fill in the gaps that produces the unpredictable idea.

@rushkoff: Whistle-blowers of Goldman-Sachs & Google

In short, the kinds of sustainable, value-creating businesses these corporate escapees are calling for just can’t happen within a corporate model based on borrowing, leverage and expansion. It’s too little and too late for a few corporate whistle-blowers to tell us how the companies they work for are technically incompetent, distracted by revenues or losing the values that once made them great.

On superstition: people believe weird things because of our evolved need to believe nonweird things – via @ValdisKrebs

Through a series of complex formulas that include additional stimuli (wind in the trees) and prior events (past experience with predators and wind), the authors conclude that “the inability of individuals—human or otherwise—to assign causal probabilities to all sets of events that occur around them will often force them to lump causal associations with non-causal ones. From here, the evolutionary rationale for superstition is clear: natural selection will favour strategies that make many incorrect causal associations in order to establish those that are essential for survival and reproduction.”

Learning is the Work – original artwork by @RalphMercer

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