In this talk based on his presentation at the Learning Without Frontiers conference in January, philosopher, linguist, and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky — easily one of our time’s sharpest thinkers — discusses the purpose of education. Despite the slow pace and the cheesy AfterEffects animated typography, the video is a treasure trove of insight on everything from the role of technology to the pitfalls of policy.
Tag Archives | Creativity
Travis Riddle writes in Scientific American:
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In the mid 1990’s, Apple Computers was a dying company. Microsoft’s Windows operating system was overwhelmingly favored by consumers, and Apple’s attempts to win back market share by improving the Macintosh operating system were unsuccessful. After several years of debilitating financial losses, the company chose to purchase a fledgling software company called NeXT. Along with purchasing the rights to NeXT’s software, this move allowed Apple to regain the services of one of the company’s founders, the late Steve Jobs. Under the guidance of Jobs, Apple returned to profitability and is now the largest technology company in the world, with the creativity of Steve Jobs receiving much of the credit.
However, despite the widespread positive image of Jobs as a creative genius, he also has a dark reputation for encouraging censorship,“ losing sight of honesty and integrity”, belittling employees, and engaging in other morally questionable actions.
Nick Meador writes on his blog:
It appears we are living at the dawn of a new era. Throughout our culture we see signs of change, progress, and evolution. A “Creative Class” is on the rise that—with the help of the Internet and other related technologies—will reportedly transform our entire socio-economic system.
And yet, at the same time, something is amiss. Much of this so-called Creative Class can only prosper by finding work within the current corporate infrastructure, resulting in very little actual creativity or innovation. The very ones who might create the necessary change in society must expend their time and energy worrying about “making a living.” Those who can keep a job have to sacrifice ideas that contradict the wishes of bosses and the company’s stockholders.
For those who have been diagnosed “abnormal” by our society, this problem is especially prevalent. Such people are variably labeled anti-social, eccentric, introverted, highly sensitive, ADD, bipolar, neuro-atypical, differently abled, gifted, or one of many other similar terms that have a derogatory effect.… Read the rest
Our free culture anthem gets a fabulous arrangement by Nik Phelps. Vocals by Connie Champagne. Animation and song by Nina Paley.
Here’s a brain teaser: Your task is to move a single line so that the false arithmetic statement below becomes true.
IV = III + IIIDid you get it? In this case, the solution is rather obvious – you should move the first “I” to the right side of the “V,” so that the statement now reads: VI = III + III. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of people (92 percent) quickly solve this problem, as it requires a standard problem-solving approach in which only the answer is altered. What’s perhaps a bit more surprising is that nearly 90 percent of patients with brain damage to the prefrontal lobes — this leaves them with severe attentional deficits, unable to control their mental spotlight — are also able to find the answer ...
A PLAN FOR A POST-LABOR AMERICA
• Education reform. A popular misconception about the American ED-U-SYSTEM is that it is ‘broken.’ When in fact, it is quite good at what it was designed for; creating dependable laborers for Industry. Thanks to the schooling system, youth are trained very early in how they are expected to be useful in the “REAL WORLD.” The real purpose of public education consists of three courses: one in punctuality, one in obedience, and one in rote, repetitive work.
• Labor-based economy demands workers who show up on time, workers who will take orders from a management hierarchy without question and it demands men and women to slave away at machines or in offices. Rather than lament or ignore these facts we should look at this system as a necessary evil that has allowed us to develop ourselves to this present state of technological sophistication — actually paving the way for what comes next.… Read the rest
Most of the obituaries for Steve Jobs touched upon his creativity, vision, and “think different” thought process at the helm of Apple. Strange then to omit that fact that Jobs used LSD and proclaimed dropping acid to be “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” (This is also the reason iPods come in so many colors.) Via the Fix:
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But equally suggestive, is a quote from Steve Jobs to New York Times reporter John Markoff. Speaking about psychedelics, Jobs said, “Doing LSD was one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” He was hardly alone among computer scientists in his appreciation of hallucinogenics and their capacity to liberate human thought from the prison of the mind. Jobs even let drop that Microsoft’s Bill Gates would “be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once.” Apple’s mantra was”Think different.” Jobs did.
In the spirit of the Disinfo film RIP! A Remix Manifesto, the Center for the Study of the Public Domain goes dreaming and takes a look at classic works which would be entering the public domain in 2011, but for the passing of 1976′s restrictive Copyright Act. Among the cultural items to become freely available for quoting, remixing, and all other use would be books such as Waiting for Godot and Lord of the Flies, movies including On the Waterfront and Rear View Window, and the songs ‘Mr. Sandman’ and ‘Mambo Italiano.’
Current US law extends copyright protections for 70 years from the date of the author’s death. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years).
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, YouTube and HP have teamed up in search of the world’s most creative online video. In collaboration with Hewlett-Packard and Intel, Google’s YouTube set up a dedicated site section dubbed Play, in an effort to find and showcase the most exceptional talents working in the realm of online video.