Audio CD ☆ Imagine MOBI º

Imagine ❮Epub❯ ➜ Imagine Author Jonah Lehrer – Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea That the color blue can help you double your creative outputFrom the best selli Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea That the color blue can help you double your creative outputFrom the best selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity Shattering the myth of muses higher powers even creative “types” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use effectivelyLehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut thinking like a child daydreaming productively and adopting an outsider’s perspective travel helps He unveils the optimal mix of old and new partners in any creative collaboration and explains why criticism is essential to the process Then he zooms out to show how we can make our neighborhoods vibrant our companies productive and our schools effectiveYou’ll learn about Bob Dylan’s writing habits and the drug addictions of poets You’ll meet a Manhattan bartender who thinks like a chemist and an autistic surfer who invented an entirely new surfing move You’ll see why Elizabethan England experienced a creative explosion and how Pixar’s office space is designed to spark the next big leap in animationCollapsing the layers separating the neuron from the finished symphony Imagine reveals the deep inventiveness of the human mind and its essential role in our increasingly complex world.

  • Audio CD
  • Imagine
  • Jonah Lehrer
  • English
  • 09 August 2014
  • 9781455877218

10 thoughts on “Imagine

  1. Rob Rob says:

    The short version Lehrer draws together some interesting ideas but I feel like his rhetorical flourish sometimes gets in the way of the point he's trying to make His main point here is that creativity and innovation arises when we freely mingle within diverse ideas but sometimes it seems like he's too busy boosting for entrepreneurs and big cities and he lets that get in the way of his central thesis Side note I waffled between 2 stars and 3 stars In Imagine How Creativity Works Jonah Lehrer presents a series of experimental findings and narratives and draws them together to into an optimistic thesis on creativity and innovation But there are two books here there's the successful book the book where Lehrer is a capable wordsmith with a knack for describing and synthesizing these scientific findings and their implications in a way that is accessible to a lay audience; and then there is the mediocre book the book where Lehrer substitutes anecdotes for evidence where he lets latter points undermine positions formerly established where he allows his rhetorical flourish to obfuscate the point he is trying to make And it is with that in mind that I closed the covers with mixed feelingsLehrer's optimistic thesis in a nutshell Creative Genius 1 is not some rare gift that only a remarkable and privileged few are born with; instead Creative Genius is the product of exposure to diverse ideas 2 the synthesis of those diverse ideas to form novel innovations and the diligent pursuit of those novel innovations in the face of challenges setbacks and outright failuresFor most of us this is fantastic news We don't have to win the genetic lottery to be Creative Geniuses We're still at the mercy of other privileges eg we still need to be situated such that we can be exposed to diverse ideas; we still have to have the financial and emotional resources to withstand the failures that stand between our ideas and seeing them to fruition; we still need to live in a culture or society and live under the aegis of a government that does not have draconian intellectual property laws andor censorship laws andor lots of other apparatuses set up for maintaining the status uo at all costs but assuming all those other things line up we may all be poised to become Creative Geniuses and change the worldImagine contains a lot of evidence anecdotal scientific and in between to support this thesis Lehrer talks about the research that went into the development of the Swiffer and about the almost random inspiration that led to its conceptions He talks about how a burnt out Bob Dylan retreated to Woodstock NY with the intention of never again picking up a guitar only to write the best music of his career literally days later He writes about how 3M has been doing that Google thing 3 with their engineers for over 70 years He writes about Broadway productions and what the right mix of old friends and new blood is necessary to make a hit He talks about when to take a project and put it in the drawer for a year He surveys studies some shrewd some dubious from neuroscientists and on the next pages there are yarns spun through interviews with advertising professionals urban planners musicians magicians graphic artists and everyone in between And all the while Lehrer's narrative style weaves this all together and makes it easy for just about anyone to comprehend ButAn accessible narrative style the style reuired to reach a broad lay audience too often becomes reductionist? Overly simplified? That kind of style can muddle some of the nuance that is otherwise necessary for a meticulous scientific discussion 4 Some have argued that Lehrer is drawing conclusions that simply aren't there 5 but I don't know if I fully agree with that It's subtle than that It isn't that he doesn't have a point or that his conclusions are unfounded or banal or even that he is interleaving scientific evidence and collouial anecdotes with eual significance That's not the problemThe problem is that he keeps slipping ever so slightly and undermining his own prior arguments as he enthusiastically works himself up to support whatever argument he is shaping in that chapter and on that page The problem is that he tends to contradict himself Nowhere is this obvious than in the book's penultimate chapter Lehrer fetishizes big city living 6 so much that he begins to celebrate this concept than anything else 7 8 and in doing so he comes close to compromising many of the points he made before In the preceding chapter he beats the drum of travel as the critical path to gaining diverse experiences and gaining exposure to diverse ideas but when he gets around to talking about big cities Well you may as well just move to New York City and call it a day; who needs to travel when you can just live in the place where everyone is going to or through anyway? Granted this is not explicitly stated but therein lies one of my gripes that this seems to be such an obvious conclusion and such a clear cognitive path between the two discussions that I am led to believe that he did not fully explore the implications of some many? most? of these critical concepts he was exploring to benefit his thesis If he did not make the link between those two points then what else did he miss? what else did he gloss over? what other connections were not made? 9 10 Worse there is a clear case of reverse causality happening here Given the research cited there is clearly an intriguing feedback mechanism taking place in these large and vibrant metropolises but to say that the city itself causes the creativity is spurious and misleadingThese criticisms aside however Lehrer's thesis remains strong and it is refreshing to see someone grapple with the subject matter in such an optimistic fashion It seems that we too often treat the creativity of innovators as this scarce natural resource There is romance in the mystery of Creative Geniuses but it is not a helpful romance You need not be born that way; being a Creative Genius or even just Sufficiently Innovative is something that you can work toward All we need is the right climateWe need to be willing to risk embarrassment ask silly uestions surround ourselves with people who don't know what we're talking about We need to leave behind the safety of our expertiseThe right kind of stubborn temperament helps tooIn fact most of us see perseverance as a distinctly uncreative approach the sort of strategy that people with mediocre ideas are forced to rely onLastly Lehrer isolated this brilliant uote from Yo Yo MaIf you are only worried about not making a mistake then you will communicate nothingwhich just about sums up everything in the book and everything I feel about the bookUpdate 7312012 on Jonah Lehrer's resignation 1 Creative Genius being a phrase that I do not recall being called out nor Initially Capitalized explicitly in the text but it was used rather prominently in Matthew Francis' review on Ars Technica so I've decided to incorporate it similarly here2 And we use ideas here in a very broad sense Ideas are challenges concepts customs dilemmas facts hypotheses memes problems stories superstitions suspicions theories traditions words and every other thing that you might pick up from interacting with another person3 That Google thing being that their engineers get by anecdotal accounts at least; I couldn't find anything official upwards of 20% of their time to spend working on pet projects4 Granted I was raised in a household where scientific rigor was de rigueur And as such my bias tends to lean toward rigor and less rhetoric Take that as full disclosure; take that for what you will I just always assume that everyone else is looking for that same kind of exactness in the text5 I'm thinking in particular of Isaac Chotiner's piece The Curse of Knowledge The New Republic which features lines like this More worryingly Lehrer’s weightier confusions cast doubt on his glib interpretations of brain experiments And the comment thread is filled with similar indictments Though you're not missing much if you skip the comment thread on the Chotiner article6 He really enjoyed using the word superlinear7 Why else would they positioned in the text as they are? if not to culminate with entrepreneurs in big cities?8 There is also some fetishization of entrepreneurs going on in that chapter which made me bristle a bit but I can't say that that undermined his point There was plenty of room left over for engineers and artists9 At which I note there is some embedded irony there10 Yes I should have kept better track of these contradictions But by the time I'd gotten to this point I wasn't about to go back and start cataloging them for the sake of this lowly document See also• The Curse of Knowledge by Isaac Chotiner New Republic• Defending Jonah Lehrer by Bradley Voytek• Imagine a society that fosters creativity by Matthew Francis Ars Technica maybe a little bit flip but fairly even handed and short review in its own right

  2. notgettingenough notgettingenough says:

    Hilarious I've had pointed out to me that the author just got sacked from The New Yorker for making up the Dylan comments in this bookStory here Lehrer a staff writer for the New Yorker has resigned after admitting to falsifying uotesAfter earlier disputing claims made by a magazine writer Lehrer admitted on Monday that he had been guilty of making up and misattributing uotes about Bob Dylan in his best selling book Imagine How Creativity WorksNever get in the way of an obsessed Dylan fan Lehrer I hope you are no relation to the great manThe big issue here is not even that the prat made up some Dylan in an ignorant and arrogant way thinking he'd get away with itThe problem is that it makes everything he does unreliable It's easy to discover that he has made up the Dylan bits but what about all his other 'sources' They are completely discredited now as wellWhere does that leave his book? Maybe somebody who has read it can answer that for me

  3. Andy Andy says:

    July 31 update Lehrer is exposed as a big fat liar and this book is removed from the shelves because of fake Dylan uotes see NY Times article is sad is that no one in the publishing world seems to have a high enough degree of scientific literacy to tell that Lehrer has just been b sh ing the whole time Dylan uotes someone is an expert on that But science we'll just believe whatever the cute dork says Original review below This is an entertaining book because its ideas are counterintuitive The problem is that the reason the ideas are counterintuitive is that they are wrongTake for example the chapter on how brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea This is the chapter that was probably most mentioned in reviews The reader would be much better served watching a short Nightline video on the design firm IDEO to see how brainstorming does work in the real world to produce many of the real products that surround us Lehrer's book does not mention IDEO let alone explain how he deals with this inconvenient contradiction to his thesis This is a suspiciously conspicuous hole The fact that a giant design firm not only uses brainstorming but actively evangelizes for it is sort of a problem for the case that brainstorming is a myth Lehrer himself acknowledges the success of IDEO in his New Yorker article on this same topic Lehrer's evidence for his surprising claim bashing brainstorming is a psychology study with groups of 4 or 5 undergrads and no facilitator or special tools working on an assigned topic they probably don't care about This is a biased unfair test of brainstorming because the group is too small there is a certain skill to managing a brainstorming session so that people follow the rules and kids just being told to do it will not have this expertise and the point is to share ideas about a problem that people wantneed to solve Despite these monkey wrenches the brainstorming group still did do better than the controls A third group did even better by debating but this is another straw man argument because in practice the idea generation of brainstorming is always followed by some kind of winnowing process Nobody anywhere is proposing that one should implement all of the hundreds of ideas generated by a brainstorming session Nor would one reject new good ideas that come up during the winnowing The value of brainstorming is as a means of sharing ideas in environments where that does not happen spontaneously If your workplace consists of geniuses casually wandering around and chatting with each other about all their brilliant thoughts then brainstorming is probably not necessary But for everyone else it can be extremely powerful To baselessly bash something useful just so one can come up with something surprising to say is irresponsible

  4. Marzie Marzie says:

    I'm than half way through and maybe it's just my left brain even though tests show I'm sort of right brained? getting in the way but I'm rather frustrated about how every chapter seems to say no it's not just what we said in the previous chapter it's this Like relaxation is essential unless you're productive when you're under stress Then stress ADHD sufferers excel except here take some amphetamines and focus intently except hey you lost all that right brained disparate input Perhaps it's a sign of just how complicated the subject matter is but it's rather frustrating picking through this book and saying but wait a minute back here you said this and now your saying not this?In the end I've enjoyed it but I feel as if it is living testimony to how little we understand about imagination innovation's spark in the mind and how one person's creatively stifling situation is another's crucible of innovation and insight

  5. David David says:

    While this is a fun book much of it seems to be uite obvious and covered in numerous other books This is especially true for the first half of the book which is titled Alone I did not need to read for the umpteenth time how an engineer at 3M invented post it notes Likewise it is so obvious that some of the most creative people are those whose expertise spans multiple areasThe second half of the book titled Together was interesting to me For example I did not know that the area of San Jose was highly innovatives long before the inventions of electronics Even when the area was agricultural for the past hundred years it scored high in terms of the number of patents per capita I'm not sure this can be explained; unfortunately the book does not really explore the reason for thisOn the other hand the book does explain why Silicon Valley became innovative after the development of electronics There are a couple of reasons all having to do with the sharing of information among engineers there They tend to have after work drinks at a small number of watering holes Non compete clauses are not enforced there And there is a high rate of turnover among the technically skilled engineersWhile it seems obvious it is worthwhile mentioning that creative people feel less inhibited to take risks And with risks comes freuent failures So it appears that creative people are less afraid to fail and they are persistent in the face of a string of failuresThe style of this book is similar to that of of Malcolm Gladwell It is packed with plenty of interesting anecdotes which then are used as a springboard for speculation This makes it a fun feel good book it's just not a definitive work

  6. Judith Judith says:

    I heard the author interviewed on Fresh Air and was utterly fascinated He told so many interesting stories such as every researcher at 3M gets an hour a day of their workday to do whatever they want take a nap go for a walk play a game etc 3M knows that that time creates creativityHe also told the story of how Swiffer was invented Interesting

  7. James Q. Golden James Q. Golden says:

    I just answered a uestion on uora and recommended this book and because I didn't want to feel stupid for recommending it because it has a low score and is uite controversial I started reading some of the negative reviews and all I can say is this I get itIt's almost certain that the man misuoted Bob Dylan and that some of the stories and paradigms in this book Do drag on before they actually make a point and there's a whole desert of things in this book that after you've read it and try to recall them they just slip down your fingers like dust That's all true I concurBUT and this is a big but for me because I've actually experienced what I'm going to tell you there's a tiny gem in this book which is backed up by neuroscience a fact which makes it shine Even brighter and for the man or woman or better for the kids who'd love to enhance or polish or retrieve their lost creativity this tiny gem is a true treasureThis tiny and Bright and so talked up gem ladies and gentlemen is nothing else but DepressionNow I know this may sound odd at first but depression—although a scary and depressing word in itself—is a wonderful feeling WHEN used as a tool for creativityThe root of every emotion is its opposite and for me the opposite of Spontaneous child like out of this world innovative wild colors on ever changing canvas creativity is dark gloom I want to kill myself with all my heart but I won’t actually do it because I’m not stupid depressionOf course you don’t have to take it that far; I’m just pointing out the extremes here but yes if you want to tread the journey named creativity the carrot is not sufficient; you have to add the stick too unfortunately The good news however is that you do these things willingly so at the end of the road when you look back you can know and Feel that it was a FUN FUN FUN ride And this is something I've experienced first hand all because of this book because it made me at a period of my life in which I was really depressed to realize the OPPORTUNITY of using this depression and turning it into CREATIVITY I have so many things written on my notebook seeds that were planted during that period that you wouldn't believe and which after years of being content and happy with my life never cease to amaze me for I know for a fact that I would never come up with this crazy stuff feeling as I'm feeling right now without using Depression as a tool firstSo anyway my point is as a Dragon once pointed out to not confuse the moon with the finger pointing at the moon Yes the writing isn't perfect and the writer isn't perfect either as we all aren't but the gem remainsWhy don't you allow yourself to Focus on that and go GRAB IT

  8. Kylie Sparks Kylie Sparks says:

    wellI did think this book was great Until I found out that he fabricated uotes in the Bob Dylan chapter and then lied to cover it up It seems likely the investigation is still ongoing that of the book is fabricated He's creative all right but I really have no respect for him any he's a journalist after all and his behavior violates the basic ethics of journalism

  9. Beth Beth says:

    FASCINATING Well researched and well written Some things seem like 'well duh' but they really aren't If you are creative if you aren't creative check this book out It will enhance your creative powers and validate HOW you get to your creative state If you aren't creative or don't THINK you are creative you may uite possibly be surprised

  10. Cheryl Dickemper Cheryl Dickemper says:

    In light of recent developments I feel the need to rewrite my initially positive review Fabricating sources to support your thesis is plagiarism of the worst sort and something I struggled against while teaching composition to undergrads I did enjoy the book but now that the uotes are in uestion as a reader I have to wonder what else was invented or ripped from context to support Lehrer's ideas The book was still thought provoking though and perhaps Lehrer can reinvent himself as speaker on intellectual honesty to college and high school students and to outline how a well respected smart guy gets sucked into thinking that it's acceptable to make stuff up and pass it off as factually true in a published book And on Bob Dylan no less Wow No one's going to catch that

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