Where Science Meets Muse

Archive for June, 2010

Can an iPad Cripple Innovation and Creativity?

Posted by Plish on June 30, 2010

Came across this provocative piece at Harvard Business Review .

The author, Peter Bregman, returned his iPad because he found himself filling up his time with ‘stuff’ via the iPad as opposed to taking advantage of the ‘downtime’ that we all experience.  Bregman calls this downtime boredom, but in essence it’s the time when we’re not focusing on particular problems- that valuable time when the brain is able to make connections and build insights. It’s that time before falling asleep, the time in the shower, the time during or after a workout.

His point is well taken even if his solution to being an iPadoholic was slightly radical. 

We need to take time to relax – to disconnect, to experience the feeling of being and not necessarily doing, as Bregman poignantly points out at the end of his article:

“We have a new ritual now, and it really has become my favorite part of the day. I put (my 8 year old daughter) to bed 15 minutes earlier than before. She crawls into bed and, instead of shushing her, I lie next to her and we just talk. She talks about things that happened that day, things she’s worried about, things she’s curious or thinking about. I listen and ask her questions. We laugh together. And our minds just wander.”

‘Doing’ as part of the ”cloud’ 24/7 isn’t always a good thing.  Great ideas and innovation have their origins in those times when we pleasantly have our feet on the ground and are simply being.

Posted in Authenticity, idea generation, imagination, innovation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, The Human Person, The Senses, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What’s to Come of Present Innovations in the Future? It’s All in the Beginnings

Posted by Plish on June 25, 2010

Here’s the scenario: 

You play the piano. You need to come up with a system for transferring musical notes into something that a computer and other keyboards and electronic instruments will understand. 

Odds are, you’ll come up with something like MIDI.  MIDI stands for “Musical Instrument Digital Interface.”    It’s a protocol that enables electronic instruments to communicate with each other.  Go to any non-classical music concert and odds are, somewhere in the mix, MIDI is playing a role (The pun really isn’t intended).  The interesting thing is that  MIDI doesn’t actually transmit any music per se.  It transmits information such as when a certain note stops and starts, its pitch, loudness and what type of instrument is sounding the note. 

So, what does MIDI look like? 

When people see MIDI instruments working, all people usually see are a bunch of cables connecting everything together.  What they don’t see is what the information looks like when depicted on a screen. 

When writing songs and depicting a piece in MIDI you use something called a piano roll.  

Piano Roll Courtesy of Musikality.net


The piano is depicted along the left hand side.  Time moves from left to right.  The above example shows each measure of four beats. You hit a virtual key on the piano at the left (or on an actual electronic piano connected to the computer) and a corresponding square at the proper time gets colored in indicating that note.  Those little squares, along with some instrument identifiers (even drums can be communicated via MIDI) ,  contain the information that dictates what you’re going to hear coming out of the speakers. 

It’s actually pretty minimalistic and elegant.  

It’s also based on the piano (and the piano roll comes from player pianos!). All digital instruments, whether they’re guitars, trumpets, vuvuzelas, or drums, somehow are described by the same basic parameters (note on, note off, loudness, pitch) that are present when someone hits a key on a piano. 

What really is fascinating though is how the MIDI technology, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in creativity, Customer Focus, Design, Evolution, innovation, Musical Creativity, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, Sustainable Technology, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Flashes of Brilliance -Thoughts on Innovation While Watching a Lightning Storm (Video)

Posted by Plish on June 18, 2010

Posted in creativity, culture of innovation, Design, idea generation, imagination, innovation, nature, Nature of Creativity, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Inspiration+Intuition=Innovation; An Interview with Chef John Des Rosiers of Inovasi Restaurant

Posted by Plish on June 15, 2010

I had the opportunity to visit with Inovasi‘s John Des Rosiers.  Great interview!  Some really intriguing stuff with regards to intuition and its role in innovation.  By the way, the word “Inovasi” is Indonesian for “Innovation”

What do you think about his perspectives?

Posted in Authenticity, Case Studies, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, Food, idea generation, imagination, innovation, Interviews, Nature of Creativity, The Human Person, The Senses, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Design Thinking, Shminking…It’s About Being Human

Posted by Plish on June 8, 2010

I read this little tidbit over at Fast Company about how Design Thinking will give way to the next big thing: Hybrid Design.   I found myself having the same thoughts as those who responded to the article.  Most of those folks believed there was nothing really new being mentioned in the article other than the creation of  a new term to describe what’s already been happening for a while – a loooooong while.

So it got me thinking.

We call it “design thinking’ but a key aspect of design thinking is actually doing.   It’s about thinking by acting, or perhaps more properly, thinking through acting…

but then, maybe it’s by thinking by and through acting…

~Switch gears~

…While watching the Stanley Cup playoffs at my brother’s house, my kindergarten aged niece asked me to play a game entitled, “Invisible, Shminvisible.”

Even though my niece explained it carefully, I wasn’t able to really figure it out through listening.  So, I started playing the game with her and she and her older brother directed me.  Soon, I was a participant in the game.  It made sense.

Which brings us back to the discussion at hand.  I learned by playing and through playing.  It wasn’t about sitting down with a rule book (which I ‘m thankful for because I’m quite sure that such a book would be at least 5 – 10 pages long if penned in “instruction manual” lingo.)  It was about the wonderful process of looking, understanding and making.

So, bringing us full  circle here:

The evolution Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Authenticity, children, Creative Environments, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, design thinking, Human Rights, imagination, innovation, Life Stages, problem solving, Sketching, The Human Person, The Senses, Workplace Creativity, ZenStorming | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Building a Better World – A Lesson on Waste and Human Nature from the Internet

Posted by Plish on June 2, 2010

Humans have a tendency to see to  immense resources as inexhaustible…

Until they get close to exhaustion.

Water, our air, petroleum products, various plants and animals. They’re all examples of resources  humans use and use, often not being aware of the consequences until it’s too late.

So, I decided to check and see if another immense and inexhaustible resource was being misused by people.

The Internet.

And, it is.

While writing a post for this blog a couple days ago I noticed that one image I downloaded from the web was surprisingly large.  So, for kicks I decided to see if I could keep it the same quality but reduce the file size.  I didn’t do any tweaking of contrast or brightness.  Here are the results:




I was shocked.  The file was almost twice the size as what was needed.  Sure it’s not perfect but it still looks pretty good. I would venture to say that if you didn’t have the other one next to it you wouldn’t even know.  But, is this a pattern on the internet?   I went over to  5 other sites, and downloaded a few more pictures from them to see if this is a prevalent problem.  Below are two of the more glaring examples.    Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Best Practices, culture of innovation, Design, design thinking, innovation, problem solving, Social Responsibility, Sustainable Technology, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: