Analysis + Insight (in that order) = Creativity

Insight--that eureka moment when a new idea appears like a bolt from the blue--is the most essential characteristic of creativity. Without insight, there simply can be no creativity.

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Mark Beeman, a cognitive neuroscientist at Northwestern University, has found that certain simple behaviors result in more creative outcomes. In his analysis of laboratory experiments, Beeman identified insight--that eureka moment when a new idea appears like a bolt from the blue--as the most essential characteristic of creativity. Without insight, there simply can be no creativity. But insight is the fruit of another labor, says Beeman. Rigorous analysis is the necessary first step toward achieving insight because it collects the data on which the imagination can work on. 

What's the Big Idea?

During laboratory tests, Beeman was able to connect analysis and creativity to specific physical behavior. When test subjects looked at a series of unrelated words--say "pine", "crab", and "sauce"--the analysis phase was defined by fewer head movements and less blinking. When subjects blinked more frequently and divided their attention between the words and other object, insight was more likely to occur provided they had already carefully analyzed the words. Beeman also identifies the importance of humility to creativity: "You won't win a Nobel Prize for rearranging your closet more effectively, but it could be important for daily life."

Read more at the New Yorker

Should you defend the free speech rights of neo-Nazis?

Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
  • In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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  • NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.

Top vets urge dog lovers to stop buying pugs and bulldogs

Pugs and bulldogs are incredibly trendy, but experts have massive animal welfare concerns about these genetically manipulated breeds. 

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  • Pugs, Frenchies, boxers, shih-tzus and other flat-faced dog breeds have been trending for at least the last decade.
  • Higher visibility (usually in a celebrity's handbag), an increase in city living (smaller dogs for smaller homes), and possibly even the fine acting of Frank the Pug in 1997's Men in Black may be the cause.
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U.S. Air Force warns UFO enthusiasts against storming Area 51

Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.

Politics & Current Affairs
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  • The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
  • If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.
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