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.

What's the Latest Development?

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.

Photo credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

10 science photos that made history and changed minds

These photos of scientific heroes and accomplishments inspire awe and curiosity.

Surprising Science
  • Science has given humanity an incalculable boost over the recent centuries, changing our lives in ways both awe-inspiring and humbling.
  • Fortunately, photography, a scientific feat in and of itself, has recorded some of the most important events, people and discoveries in science, allowing us unprecedented insight and expanding our view of the world.
  • Here are some of the most important scientific photos of history:
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less