Elastic thinking is what endows us with the ability to solve novel problems and to overcome the neural and psychological barriers that can impede us from looking beyond the existing order.
On July 6, 2016, Niantic, a forty-person startup company founded by ex-employees of Google’s “Geo” division, launched Pokémon Go, an “augmented reality” game that employs a phone’s camera to let people capture virtual creatures that appear on their screens as if they exist in the real world. Within two days the app had been installed on more than 10 percent of all Android phones in the United States, and within two weeks it had thirty million users. Soon iPhone owners were spending more time each day on Pokémon Go than on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter. Even more impressive, within days of the game’s release, the words Pokémon Go drew more searches on Google than the word porn.
Leonard Mlodinow is a theoretical physicist and author recognized for groundbreaking discoveries in physics, and a passion for making science accessible and interesting to the general public. He was on the faculty of Caltech, and is the author of five best-sellers. Among them, The Grand Design, co-authored with Stephen Hawking, took the reader on a tour of the latest ideas in physics and cosmology, and reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list. His book Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, described how a person’s thoughts, decisions, and feelings are profoundly influenced by the behind-the-scenes operation of the unconscious mind, and won the PEN/E.O. Wilson award for literary science writing. And his book The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives showed how the hidden forces of randomness have a huge and generally unrecognized effect on all aspects of life, as well as the course of companies and societies. It was chosen as a New York Times notable book, and short-listed for the Royal Society book award.
Dr. Mlodinow is also known through his many contributions to journals such as The New York Times