How to Become More Creative

Always mindful of the mind, Jonah Lehrer offers a brief history of creativity. Based on empirical results, brainstorming and teleconferencing are out, accidental interactions and trust are in.

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First, stop searching for the creativity formula. When Steve Jobs was designing Pixar's office space, the computer graphics company he founded between gigs at Apple, he wanted to locate the building's only bathrooms in a center atrium, forcing people to interact with each other by chance. The space quickly became a hub for serendipity. At MIT, a makeshift building which violated numerous building codes would eventually become one of the world's most creative spaces. How? Due to lack of space, the college crammed very disparate departments right next to each other.

What's the Big Idea?

The only rule of creativity is that it does not follow a script. The idea generation process known as brainstorming, which influenced schools and businesses for generations, simply does not work because it is too formulaic. The brainstorming process also eschews criticism of others' ideas, believing creativity to be a delicate flower easily offended by debate. Empirically speaking, that is also false. The most essential element of creativity is accidental and honest human interaction, which must be facilitated but not forced.

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Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

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  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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Scientists find a horrible new way cocaine can damage your brain

Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.

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Mind & Brain
  • Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
  • Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
  • Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
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