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Imagine: How Creativity Works Review

June 10, 2012

Update:  Mr. Lehrer has been discovered to be an asshole and bullshit artist.  His publishers are recalling the book.

I finished the book this morning. It is a fascinating read, the content of which had me nodding in agreement and excitedly getting up out of my chair to pace and think.  Lots of great real world examples, including an in-depth look at Pixar.

“We need to innovate innovation.  Because here is the disquieting truth: Our creative problems keep on getting more difficult.  Unless we choose the right policies and reforms, unless we create more NOCCAs [and High Tech Highs] and fix the patent system, unless we invest in , unless we encourage young inventors with the same fervor that we encourage young football stars,  we’ll never be able to find the solutions that we so desperately need.  It’s time to create the kind of culture that won’t hold us back.” (p247)

Chapters:
Alpha Waves (Condition Blue): The neurology of creativity, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
The Unconcealing: Creative work often requires “sweat, sadness, and failure” to discover the brilliant diamond core, the enlightened insight.
The Letting Go: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” (Picasso)
The Outsider: Thinking from outside the box, providing that fresh perspective.
The Power of Q: The perfect storm of intermingling cross-discipline expertise.
Urban Friction: Superlinear growth and weak-ties vs close friends
The Shakespeare Paradox: “Immature poets imitate. Mature poets steal” (T.S. Elliot), 95 year patent protection is killing innovation.

It is more than the sum of its parts.  Highly recommended.

And now I give you “Shining”

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6 Comments
  1. 3Suns permalink*
    June 10, 2012 11:46 pm

    Sweetening the pot, author Jonah Lehrer also spends a lot of time with Talking Heads’ David Byrne in the chapter Urban Friction.

    I effin’ love this song

    Burning Down The House lyrics

  2. June 11, 2012 4:59 pm

    Good write up! Need to check this book out!

    That re-cut of the shining was hilarious.

    • 3Suns permalink*
      July 31, 2012 5:09 pm

      Excellent find, Herandar!

      Dang, and I really enjoyed that book, though the Dylan stuff was the least interesting to me (as my omission of that specific chapter testifies). Ultimately, however, now the question begs, what else is fabricated in that book. I will update the post proper. Thanks for the heads-up. 😦

    • Herandar permalink
      August 3, 2012 8:31 am

      I’m sure that most of the book is still valid, but this is a big deal in the world of publishing. His career arc just changed dramatically, and no one will view him or any material he creates ever in the future without some sort of doubt. Really kinda sucks, and makes you wonder why he felt compelled to make stuff up, what with the solid premise.

    • 3Suns permalink*
      August 3, 2012 3:33 pm

      Yeah, I think his writing career is over. The book has been pulled from Amazon as if it never existed. No reputable publisher will want anything he writes.

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