Blame it On The Alcohol

Frediani lies about his relevance to the crime at first, then claims that it had taken place because he was drunk. In the criminal world this idea of “blaming it on the alcohol” seems to be popular. However, it seems to increase the chances of hardened punishment. This brings me to the idea that if alcohol was not present in at least fifty percent of crime, would that fifty percent be less than it is? maybe if criminals were not drunk at the time of certain wrongdoing I feel there is a huge possibility that the crime would not happen. All in all, in the world of crime alcohol seems to be a huge accessory to some crime, if this stupidity was eliminated I feel crime rates would decrease drastically.

Blame it On The Alcohol

Platforms vs Patents 2

Reading this chapter made me think of the issue with patents discussed in class a while ago, and gives me a remembrance of the question if patents are more effective than platforms. Mendel did not receive any recognition for his work, this surely was an annoyance for him. Do you think if his work was patented and he got all the credit for his work, it would have had an effect on others implementing his work because they knew it was his. His work was ultimately a platform because even though it was his idea, others were able to feed off of it legally.

Platforms vs Patents 2

Ideas Helped by a Collective Process?

One thing that struck me while I was reading this particular chapter was how many scientists and people contributed to uncovering much of the mystery of DNA.  I firmly believe that without any one of these intellectuals, we would not have the knowledge on DNA that we have today.  Although never given the proper credit while he was alive, Gregor Mendel set the stage for future thinkers to pursue a study on DNA.  Without his extensive work with plants, would Johann Friedrich Miescher have been able to discover that chromosomes in each cell nucleus were made up of more than just protein?  Each geneticist building off the work of another through the years ultimately allowed Francis Crick to head the charge in uncovering the main mysteries of DNA.  DNA that could one day help rightfully charge criminals like the one that broke into Helena’s house.  The challenging concept that developed into DNA was a collective creative process, that although took decades to answer, was unearthed by many intelligent minds.  Referring to what we discussed in class, bouncing ideas off of each other can in fact provide a better, and more complete, answer to a question or concept.

Ideas Helped by a Collective Process?

Law in Science or Science in Law

When Helena mentions she wants to be the bridge or connection between those that work in suits, which is referencing those working in the law field with people that work in her science based field. I wondered if she meant she would want to use her knowledge in science to improve the way law works, or did she mean she wants to use the ideas used in the field of law to improve her knowledge in her job field. From this speculation I realize that many different ideas can contribute to both fields i.e DNA. Since this discovery, the world of forensics was discovered, I wonder if any more connections between the two can help revolutionize ideas used in either field.

Law in Science or Science in Law

Connected Failures

After reading the last chapter of Johnson’s Where Good Ideas come from it became more clear to me how the process of implementing an innovation is played out. Putting this process into four quadrants I feel helps others understand the time and commitment that must go into fully implementing a hunch or idea. What this made me wonder was in order to reach the forth quadrant when talking about a hunch or innovation, the innovator must have had many reoccurring instances of failure, if these failures for a certain hunch were used in the four quadrant process for another hunch I feel it is more than likely that the process for implementing this hunch would be a lot faster and more efficient. This is relative to the ideas seen in Chapter 3 of Johnson’s book.

Connected Failures

Distant/Close Reading

“Distant reading takes the satellite view of the literary landscape, looking for larger patterns in the history of the stories we tell each other,” -Johnson (224).

Just a couple weeks ago in my English class I was taught about the concept of close reading and how it allows us to, word by word, draw deeper meanings from a text.  Johnson talks about how Franco Moretti used “distant reading” to track the genres of a bunch of books over the course of a century and a half.  He argues how distant reading allows us to look at the bigger picture and, more specifically, what that means in terms to the innovation of literary genres.  I would argue, however, that close reading can be just as important as distant reading when one is trying to see a bigger picture in a way like this.  I believe these two types of reading should go hand in hand when trying to discern the overall genre or theme from a literary work.  Sure distant reading can allow one to see the bigger picture, but does it allow one to see all of it?  Close reading very carefully can reveal little things about characters in a text that can greatly shape different themes throughout the text.  Recognizing seemingly hidden themes in a work can allow one to better piece together the overall genre and themes.

Distant/Close Reading

Twitter the Exaptation

“When it first emerged, Twitter was widely derided as a frivolous distraction that was mostly goof for telling your friends what you had for breakfast.”-Johnson (192)

When Twitter was dreamed up in 2006, the founders were not expecting the many uses for Twitter that it is used for now.  I find it interesting to see how the web platform evolved from just a place to write simple thoughts to one that fosters news such as political protests, provides customer support for large corporations, and acts as a place to bypass government censorship.  I would argue that, like the wings of birds from chapter 6, Twitter is an exaptation.  Wings are recognized as originally existing for the purpose of being a dinosaur wrist bone, which would provide flexibility.  Wings however, turned out to be used in other ways such as flying.  Twitter has many better uses than just letting your friends know your every thought.

Twitter the Exaptation

Apple’s Coffeehouse

“Apple’s development cycle looks more like a coffeehouse than an assembly line.”-Johnson (170)

As a marketing major I am not only interested in the way a good company builds consumer relationships with consumers, but also what makes their creative process so great.  I found Apple’s coffeehouse technique fascinating, as well as, useful.  I feel that one of the reasons why Apple is at the top of the game when it comes to computers and phones is because of this creative process.  Instead of using a more traditional approach and losing the creative vision along the line of what can and can’t be done, Apple makes sure each line of production has a say.  Apple takes group brainstorming to a whole new level as sales people and engineers of a product will sit down and talk about the one central creative vision.  This  makes me wonder what other companies use this type of coffeehouse approach.

 

Apple’s Coffeehouse

The Coffeehouse Model of Creativity

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“Many of history’s great innovators managed to build a cross disciplinary coffeehouse environment within their own private work routines”

This is Nikola Tesla. He was an Serbian American scientist focused on the development of new technology for society. He was heavily involved in many different fields of science including physics, electrical and mechanical engineering. His interest in these different fields along with his futuristic ideas allowed for the creation of inventions that were beyond his time. By the late 1800’s Tesla went to pursue his ideas of wireless lighting and electricity. He also speculated the possibility of wireless communication, a technology used so often today. These hobbies and interests in these different fields proves as an example of how scientists can come up with great ideas by integrating concepts together.

The Coffeehouse Model of Creativity

The Strength of Weak Ties

“Chance favors the connected mind.” -Johnson, pg 174

In this chapter, Johnson talks about how people like Darwin had a lot of hobbies and were interested in a wide range of fields, which helped lead them to have more good ideas since they had more information from broad subjects to draw on. And this stood out to me, because I feel that I also have a broad range of interests: chemistry and physics and music and writing and theater. And I really love finding connections between my varied interests, or even between classes that I’m taking. When I took physics in high school, I realized I could use skills I’d learned in calculus the year before in order to solve problems about velocity and acceleration. It’s things like that which remind me of one of the reasons I love learning, because I can find connections like that and see how everything I’ve learned so far can fit together.

The Strength of Weak Ties

The Slow Hunch

These teachers understand that science is not a field that delivers quick answers, and through this project, they arm students with both the practical skills and the intellectual patience to quiet their minds and reject quick conclusions until all the evidence is in.  – Jessica Lahey, Relearning the Lost Skill of Patience

This article in The Atlantic reminded me of the slow hunch. The idea that there ins importance in slowing down and engaging in deep, critical thinking, which is very much needed to make those crucial connections. The beauty of this is that it is applicable to many fields not just science. Hopefully, students are making meaningful connections in this course too!

The Slow Hunch

Water Flea Daphnia

I found the description of this crustacean very interesting.  I did not previously know that an organism can choose between producing asexually and sexually.  The way this creature produces effectively asexually during the warmer months was fascinating and so is how it chooses to reproduce sexually during the winter months.  Learning about this organism also made me ponder about why don’t all organisms have a choice to reproduce asexually or sexually?  What are the benefits of only reproducing one way when both can seem useful.

Water Flea Daphnia

Dreams and Hunches

“In part, his epiphany was made possible by the random connections of REM sleep. Yet it was also made possible by a slow hunch that had been lingering in the back of his mind for almost two decade” (Johnson, 103).

This section made me think back to Monday’s in-class discussion about slow hunches vs. quick hunches. A lot of us agreed that great ideas, even epiphanies, take a lot of time to fully develop. Most of the time, a brilliant idea does not just pop up out of nowhere. Background knowledge and experiences are required (majority of the time) before even the greatest epiphanies are created. This quote just proves these points and relates back to our ideas discussed on Monday.

This chapter made me think back to an article I recently read titled, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Author Nicholas Carr discusses the effect of technology on our brain. He proposes that technology is hindering us in the sense that the internet, and Google, have everything we could ever need at the click of a button. Our brains have adapted to the swiftness of the internet. No longer do we read through the entirety of texts to expand our knowledge on certain topics — our brains have adapted to skimming in order to find the bare necessities of information that we need. This article makes me wonder: Is the accessibility of information because of the internet limiting our creativity? Have our skimming habits resulted in less production of ideas?

Article: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

Dreams and Hunches

Failure or Teamwork

In this chapter it is mentioned several times that de Forest had failed many times while implementing one of his most critical innovations, I was wondering if it would had been more effective in a timeliness sense if other hunches and ideas were connected to his, or was it most effective for him to “fail forward.” This also ties back into the idea that every hunch takes a while to be fully implemented and even with that said not every hunch ends up being fully introduced.I get the feeling that “failing forward” and having a team behind you is what is best for implementation.

Failure or Teamwork

Building Walls around Ideas: Good or bad?

“But the strange fact is that a great deal of the past two centuries of legal and folk wisdom about innovation has pursued the exact opposite argument, building walls between ideas, keeping them from the kind of random, serendipitous connections that exist in dreams and in the organic compounds of life. Ironically, those walls have been erected with the explicit aim of encouraging innovation.” – Johnson, p123

While reading this chapter this passage really made me question why we build barriers around our ideas if sharing them, and connecting with other people is really the best way to establish great ideas. Why has the world created patents and copyrights that protect ideas from the ideas of others? How can people develop a slow hunch that they have, or explore the adjacent possible if everyones ideas are guarded by legal documents? How can we break down these walls and introduce a more connective environment?

Building Walls around Ideas: Good or bad?

Sustaining the Slow Hunch

“Sustaining the slow hunch is less a matter of perspiration than of cultivation. You give the hunch enough nourishment to keep it growing, and plant it in fertile soil, where its roots can make new connections. And then you give it time to bloom.” – Johnson, p78

This quote stuck out to me because I liked the visual it provided of the slow hunch. Johnson talked a lot about the slow hunch and how great ideas usually take time to develop, but after reading this particular passage I was really able to visualize exactly what Johnson was talking about. I especially like the statement, “where its roots can make new connections,” since Johnson really tries to emphasize throughout this chapter that hunches will stay hunches if they do not connect with other peoples ideas. By picturing the slow hunch as a plant, I can see how the plant must be given time in order for its roots to grow and connect with other plants.

Sustaining the Slow Hunch

9/11 Hunches

Being from the New York/New Jersey area, 9/11 can be a touchy subject.  A fellow student that went to my high school lost his father from the attack, as well as many other people in my area that lost a loved ones.  These hunches that were brought up in chapter 3 definitely make me question whether or not things could have went differently, but at the same time I realize the time needed for a slow hunch to turn into something better.  Darwin’s hunches took a while to turn into concrete theories and ideas.  Its hard to not question if, with the proper time, Ken Williams hunches could of had put security on more of an alert all the way back in 2001.

9/11 Hunches

Everyday Relation

I thought it was interesting how the theory of the ‘edge of chaos’ can be applied to almost everything, what I thought of off the bat is packing for college, too much can prove to be a nuisance, too little can prove to be a dilemma. It is rather a redundant occurrence that people tend to go overboard with certain things. For example when people spend to much time exercising they expose themselves to injury or even physical exhaustion. On the contrary, when people get too little exercise they begin to live an unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle. This concept of ‘edge of chaos’ is not only a formidable theory it is also a way of life.

Everyday Relation

Serendipity and Progress

After reading Chapter 4 of Where Good Ideas Come From, I thought the discussion on serendipities was very interesting. I liked how everything connected back to innovation and even just “happy accidents” coupled with other ideas can lead to progress. As this novel progresses, each chapter seems to build on one another. Ideas came from predictions, those predictions were connected, and those connections lead to “happy accidents” in which connections and networks thrive and lead to innovation. The last line of the chapter was very powerful when relating the idea of serendipities back to a database. Johnson states,

“By making the ideas public, and by ensuring that they remain stored in the database, these systems create an architecture for ogranizational serendipity. They give good ideas new ways to connect” (p128).

Essentially, Johnson is suggesting that good ideas come from the connections that happen to cross and recombine – they are “happy accidents.” I think this idea is very interesting because going through a lot of science classes we are alway taught that things have a definite answer and came about from a definite and specific process. With these ideas, Johnson proposes that not all mechanisms come about from a definite process but rather that process created an innovative mechanism from “happy accidents” or ideas combining by change to create a good idea. Overall, I think this idea is very interesting when relating it back to the scientific world – a world where definite answers are always desired. Essentially, things don’t need to be definite but rather can be spontaneous or accidental.

In addition, it was also interesting to see these ideas related to sexual reproduction. Essentially, we want to understand the mechanisms and answers behind it, but, in reality, it just happened from a happy accident. This is similar to where good ideas come from – happy accidents.

Serendipity and Progress

The Slow Hunch

After reading Chapter 3, “The Slow Hunch” in Where Good Ideas Came From I found many of the ideas presented by Johnson very insightful. I thought it was really interesting how everything discussed related back to using others’ ideas, networks, connections, and the adjacent possible. Essentially, everything builds on one another and while individuals can have hunches, those hunches aren’t relevant until they are combined with the thoughts of others. Johnson states,

“Most great ideas first take shape in the in a partial, incomplete form. They have the seeds of something profound, but they lack a key element that can turn the hunch into something truly powerful” (p75).

Johnson is suggesting that hunches while they can be good need to be nurtured by connections and thoughts of other people. The missing piece becomes complete when it is combined with a similar hunch that another individual has. In essence, complete ideas come about through the connections and networks made from a slow hunch instead of one lone idea trying to be proven. In the example of predicting the 9/11, that slow hunch was not complete because it was not built upon by other hunches or other individuals. Thus, this chapter is very important because it emphasizes the role of networks, connections, and the adjacent possible in making a hunch into a complete idea – everything is related and relevant to one another.

I also thought these ideas were really interesting because they related to the reason why we believe in evolution and natural selection. Darwin observed and made hunches, but until those ideas were coupled with other observations and predictions, they were not complete. In understanding evolution and even the scientific method, it is important to understand the role of hunches and ideas that were made to make theories and ideas real. As I learned in my Evolution course, Darwin kept a journal of everything he saw and observed while on his trip to the Galapagos. These ideas and hunches contributed to his theories once he made connections and networks between them.

The Slow Hunch

Connections and Ideas

“For the first time, humans began forming groups that numbered in the thousands, or tens of thousands. After millennia of living in an intimate cluster of extended family, they began sharing a space crowded with strangers. With that increase in population came a crucial increase in the number of possible connections that could be formed within the group” (Johnson, 53).

This quote relates back to the earlier chapter about cities and reefs. Previously, I wondered if cities produced greater ideas than smaller towns did because of their access to resources, but now I better understand that it really is just because of the population. Cities have more people, thus they generate more ideas. People easily bounce ideas off of each other. The people in cities are just like the neurons in the brain — both make connections with the other people/neurons in their environments. Some of the greatest ideas come out of cities such as New York City, Los Angeles and Boston — all places where many big businesses and people are located. 

Connections and Ideas

Networks and Connections

I thought Chapter 2 was very interesting because it discussed the ability to thrive and create new ideas by networks and connections in relation to the adjacent possible. I liked how the chapter related these ideas back to liquids as networks, for example, freezing liquid to create solids. In relating to General Chemistry courses, we also learned that solids and liquids exist, not just because, but rather as a result of hot or cold that allow things to melt or freeze. In this case those external forces of hot and cold were the “networks” or connections. In relating to the entire chapter, I thought it was interesting to relate these ideas back to the adjacent possible. Essentially, the adjacent possible is understood through connections, networks, and interactions between things. The last line of the chapter stating,

Exploring the adjacent possible can be as simple as opening a door. But sometimes you need to move a wall” -Johnson, p65

was a very powerful statement. Essentially, there is no strict answer or reason that something exists, but one has to dig deeper to understand the connections and networks as to why things exist or came about. Moving a wall is much harder than opening a door. You have to break it down into pieces to see the connections.

Networks and Connections