Monday, January 3, 2011

steven johnson

where good ideas come from  - rsa

what spaces do they hatch in:
1) hunch state - slow
ie: tim berners lee - 10 yrs for www
create a space where ideas can mingle and swap

the great driver of scientific and techno  innovation
has been the historic increase of connectivity - over the last 600-700 yrs
so yes - we're distracted.. but we have so many new ways to connect.
chance favors the connected mind.

fitting with Kelley's below - the more drippings we leave, the more potential for others to connect them, whether we do it or not..

min our selection of tech
but max the global choices of tech

Steve's april 2010 Ted

1650 english coffee house was crucial to the birth of the enlightenment
1) before that - people drank alcohol all day long
2) architecture of the space -

what are the environments that lead to unusual levels of creativity
coffee house
bio environments - rain forrests

shared patterns?
flash, eureka, lightbulb - all share that an idea is a single thing
when really - it's a network that has never formed before
how do you get your brain into these environments where these networks will form

a design that matters
spend money getting aid and advanced electronics, but then when it breaks down, can't fix, so waste
these places can keep cars working.. so built a neonatal incubator from toyota parts

if we are trying to spaces for innovation.. we need messy looking spaces.
most people aren't good at telling/remembering where great ideas happened
kevin dunbar - went around and videoed and asked
almost all the important break through ideas happened at the conference table at the weekly lab meeting, often when they shared their mistakes (not individually by the microsope)
the liquid network, lots of different ideas playing off each other
aslo - a lot of great ideas linger for decades, not a lightbulb flash on moment
darwin tells the story of coming up with the idea for natural selection, says it's a light bulb moment in his auto bio
howard groover looked back at darwin's notebooks - he found that darwin had the full theory months and months before he had the lightbulb moment
he had the concept, but unable to fully think it yet

how do you create environments for ideas to have this long half-life?

google has hunch cultivating environments
and if you share that space, grows faster

used to be we locked them up - to make them more valuable
we should spend even more time valuing the sharing and connecting of ideas.

oct 1957 - sputnik - johns hopkins - nerd heaven
2 having an informal convo, "has anyone tried to listen to this thing?" so they try - and they pick up the signal
before long - they think they might be the first to do it, so they record it.
then they start thinking, we're noticing small frequency rates, we could probably calculate the speed using the doplar effect
we could look at the slope of the doplar effect to figure out how close it is to us
after 3-4 weeks, they have mapped the exact trajectory of this satellite going around the earth - from this little sounds
figured out an unknown location of satellite from known location on the ground
could you figure out the other way?
and they say yes
so they work on submarines with satellites
that's how gps was born,
30 yrs later - anyone could do it, and

great case study in the unplanned power of open innovative systems and spaces

listening, plotting, cold war, cup of coffee

chance favors the connected mind

how do i miss all this. this is from sept by steven - tinkering - and  
adjacent possibilities
really what headed to steven in the first place yesterday when i read this by stephen hurley at the coop

speaking of the connected mind.. check this out - via smart mobs - mappings/networks that will make the world smart  thanks to tweet from @ricetopher