Beethoven would try as many as 70 different versions of a musical phrase before settling on the right one. But other great ideas seem to come out of the blue. Bob Dylan, for example, came up with the lyrics to the chorus for “Like a Rolling Stone” soon after telling his manager that he was creatively exhausted and ready to bail from the music industry. After going to an isolated cabin, Dylan got an uncontrollable urge to write and spilled out his thoughts in dozens of pages — including the lyrics to the iconic song.
Scientists are now learning more about how such moments occur, says science writer Jonah Lehrer. His new book,Imagine: How Creativity Works, explores where innovative thoughts originate and explains how some companies are now working to create environments where they’re more likely to occur.
“Moments of insight are a very-well studied psychological phenomenon with two defining features,” Lehrer tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies. “The answer comes out of the blue – when we least expect it. … [And] as soon as the answer arrives we know this is the answer we’ve been looking for. … The answer comes attached with a feeling of certainty, it feels like a revelation. These are the two defining features of a moment of insight, and they do seem to play a big role in creativity.”
Scientists have determined that people in a relaxed state and a good mood are far more likely to develop innovative or creative thoughts. And companies are now taking advantage of this fact. Lehrer points to 3M, which started out making packaging tape and has now expanded into other sectors including electronics and pharmaceutical delivery.
“They have an incredible track record of [innovation] — they’ve got almost 1 to 1 employee: product ratios … And I think one of the things they discovered early on is giving people control of their own intention,” says Lehrer.
At 3M, every engineer has an hour a day to do whatever they want: whether that’s work on a side project or simply tinker with a hobby.
“It doesn’t have to be directly relevant, they don’t have to justify it to their boss — all they have to do is promise to share it with their colleagues,” says Lehrer. “This sends an important message early on: we’ve hired you, we think you’re smart, we trust you, we trust you to find solutions, you manage your time in your own way.”
By giving their engineers and product managers a time to relax, 3M’s management is actually fostering creativity, says Lehrer.
“They trust their employees to manage their own intentions and I think when you look at the research on creativity that’s a good thing,” he says. “When you look at where insights come from, they come from where we least expect them. They only arrive after we stop looking at them. If you’re an engineer working on a problem and you’re stumped by your technical problem, chugging caffeine at your desk and chaining yourself to your computer, you’re going to be really frustrated. You’re going to waste lots of time. You may look productive, but you’re actually wasting time. Instead, at that moment, you should go for a walk. You should play some ping-pong. You should find a way to relax.”
Story via NPR BOOKS
Crack is Wack, 1986
This mural (1986) on handball court at 128th Street and 2nd Avenue was inspired by the crack epidemic and its effect on New York City. It was created as a warning and was initially executed independently, without City permission. The mural was immediately put under the protection and jurisdiction of the City Department of Parks and still exists.
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For decade women’s gymnastics has been a shinning beacon of Olympic status for UNited states. As millions tune in to watch the glamour girl athletes in leotards perform the hardest sport in physical precision. When these U.S. women bring home a medal, these celebrity status goes through the roof.
However, this summer might be different. This could be the deepest U.S. men’s team since 1984, when a squad led byPeter Vidmar, Bart Conner, Tim Daggett and Mitch Gaylord won the team gold. And it could be one of the most memorable teams, as well, full of characters with compelling life stories.
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So Chick-fil-A has moved into Southern California which lets be honest Great move for the company but unfortunately for them those delicious chicken treats are filled with Hate. Yes the company Chick-fil-A Hates gay people. They even endorsed ANTI-MARRIAGE Equality movements. An analysis of charitable donations by Chick-Fil-A shows the fast-food chain gave nearly $2 million to antigay groups in 2010. While I don’t necessarily boycott places I will occasionally pop into for a early or late bite, hopefully the feeling I had when Gay Marriage was revoked in CA 4 years ago will keep my stomach from craving this Joint. -KM
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BREAKING: Another Federal Judge Strikes Down DOMA
By Igor Volsky on Jun 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm
Another federal judge has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), finding the law unconstitutional. The victory comes in the case of Edie Windsor, who was seeking a refund of the federal estate tax paid by the estate of her late wife. From the ruling:
“The Court declares that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as applied to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff is awarded judgment in the amount of $353,053.00, plus interest and costs allowed by law.”
It’s another loss for Paul Clement and House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives (“BLAG”), who had claimed that her homosexuality was a “choice.”
Windsor’s attorneys had argued that “DOMA violates the Equal Protection principles of the U.S. Constitution because it recognizes existing marriages of heterosexual couples, but not of same-sex couples, despite the fact that New York State treats all marriages the same.”
More from the ruling: “It does not follow from the exclusion of one group from federal benefits (same-sex married persons) that another group of people (opposite-sex married couples) will be incentivized to take any action, whether that is marriage or procreations.”
Story via thinkprogress.org