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jerryking : information_spillover   4

FT.com / Life & Arts - Lightning in a bottle
October 30 2010 | Financial Times | By Steven Johnson. The
physical density of the city also encourages innovation. Many start-ups,
both now and during the first, late-1990s internet boom, share offices.
This creates informal networks of influence, where ideas can pass from
one company to the other over casual conversation at the espresso
machine or water cooler....By crowding together, we increase the
likelihood of interesting ideas or talents crossing the companies’
borders. The proximity also helps to counter the natural volatility of
start-ups...Economists have a telling phrase for the kind of sharing
that happens in these densely populated environments: “information
spillover.” When you share a civic culture with millions of people, good
ideas have a tendency to flow from mind to mind, even when their
creators try to keep them secret....The musician and artist Brian Eno coined the odd but apt word “scenius” to describe the unusual pockets of group creativity and invention that emerge in certain intellectual or artistic scenes: philosophers in 18th-century Scotland; Parisian artists and intellectuals in the 1920s. In Eno’s words, scenius is “the communal form of the concept of the genius.” New York hasn’t yet reached those heights in terms of internet innovation, but clearly something powerful has happened. There is genuine digital-age scenius on its streets. This is good news for my city, of course, but it’s also an important case study for any city that wishes to encourage innovative business. How did New York pull it off?
ideas  creativity  innovation  cities  cross-pollination  urban  idea_generation  scenius  Steven_Johnson  proximity  information_spillover  unpredictability  serendipity  collaboration  densification  ideaviruses  volatility  network_density  start_ups 
october 2010 by jerryking
Chance Favors the Connected Mind
September 27, 2010 | Jam Side Down | by Marty Manley. This
weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a very insightful article by
Steve Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You, which argues
that video games and TV shows are actually making us smarter and The
Ghost Map, which chronicles the heroic efforts of John Snow to prove
that London's terrifying 19th century cholera epidemics were water
borne, not airborne as widely believed.

The article is condensed from Johnson's forthcoming Where Good Ideas
Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, which describes the
conditions under which "ideas have sex" and multiply. He has also
released a YouTube video that is both a captivating summary and a
brilliant piece of media.
book_reviews  books  cholera  innovation  YouTube  Steven_Johnson  interconnections  ideas  idea_generation  luck  chance  information_spillover  ideaviruses  connected_learning  collective_intelligence  contingency  19th_century  virality 
october 2010 by jerryking
Preoccupations - The Urban Lands of Opportunity
June 25, 2010 | NYTimes.com |By RICHARD FLORIDA. Over the past
20 yrs., a new way of working and a new kind of workplace have evolved.
Increasingly, places (e.g. the Starbucks where we drink coffee &
send e-mail; the hotel lobby where we take a meeting; or the local
library where we write,edit & revise documents) are supplanting
plants — corporate HQ and factories — as the principal social and
economic organizing units of our time...Especially in tough times, it
makes more sense to choose a big city, with its thick labor markets and
greater economic opportunities, over a single company...The metabolic
rate of living organisms tends to slow as they increase in size. But
cities can achieve a faster rate of “urban metabolism” as they grow,
leading to more innovation, economic growth and improved living
standards. When cross-pollinated in the urban jungle, people come up
with more and better ideas and produce more results from those ideas by
finding more collaborators as well as critics.
Rotman  Richard_Florida  urban  cities  workplaces  coffeehouses  work_life_balance  cross-pollination  information_spillover  third_spaces  hard_times 
june 2010 by jerryking
Psychology Today: The Laws of Urban Energy
July/August 2007| Psychology Today | Anya Kamenetz
The world is flatter than ever. But while technology may give us each
the tools of creativity, it takes urban proximity and unpredictability
to sharpen them. One's mental garden buds, blooms, and proliferates when
cross-pollinated with the many other flowers and fruits crowding the
urban jungle. People come up with more and better ideas and produce more
results from those ideas by finding more collaborators as well as
critics.

By: Anya Kamenetz
cities  creativity  economics  urban  community  idea_flows  idea_generation  inspiration  cross-pollination  Anya_Kamenetz  playing_in_traffic  prolificacy  proximity  psychology  unpredictability  serendipity  collaboration  information_spillover  densification 
april 2009 by jerryking

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