Category Archives: creativity

Shimer College AND Why I Am Teaching a Course Called “Wasting Time on the Internet”

Shimer College: the worst school in America?

This tiny, eccentric institution in Chicago was just voted the worst place to study in America. But does Shimer, which shuns lectures and has no societies or clubs, deserve such an accolade? Jon Ronson went there to investigate

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/dec/06/shimer-college-illinois-worst-school-america

==========================

Why I Am Teaching a Course Called “Wasting Time on the Internet”

“The idea for this class arose from my frustration with reading endless indictments of the Web for making us dumber. I’ve been feeling just the opposite. We’re reading and writing more than we have in a generation, but we are reading and writing differently—skimming, parsing, grazing, bookmarking, forwarding, retweeting, reblogging, and spamming language—in ways that aren’t yet recognized as literary.”

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/wasting-time-on-the-internet

Leave a comment

Filed under college, consumer society, contrarian, creativity, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Don’t quit your day job…

“I want to mention here that my latest favorite band, _____ , all have day jobs and don’t even try to make money from their music. And if we ever get an unconditional basic income, we will get to listen to millions of people who don’t have to compromise … ”

— Ran Prieur, Oct 17 2014 ranprieur.com

Leave a comment

Filed under art, creativity, person: Ran Prieur, welfare, work, work-life balance

Job advice from Bock at Google

Bock: “Humans are by nature creative beings, but not by nature logical, structured-thinking beings. Those are skills you have to learn. One of the things that makes people more effective is if you can do both.”

LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/20/opinion/sunday/friedman-how-to-get-a-job-at-google-part-2.html

Leave a comment

Filed under creativity, jobs

3 2 stories of naivete

IN INDIA, THE INVENTOR OF A MACHINE TO MAKE SANITARY PADS:
“Luckily I’m not educated,” he tells students. “If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop… Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26260978

AT GOOGLE, THE CREATOR OF GMAIL:
“Very often, if you do something new, the actual feedback people will say is, ‘This is what we tried before and it doesn’t and won’t work,'” he says. “If you’re naive, you may not even realize that it’s been tried and didn’t work,” he says. “We tend to overlearn from the past. Just because something didn’t work in the past, doesn’t mean that it can’t work in the future–especially in technology where things are constantly changing. Maybe the technology changed, the world has changed, or you’re just simply taking a different approach. All these people [at Google] were telling me that it was a bad idea and it would fail,” he says. “But I didn’t really care, I thought they were all wrong and tried it anyway–and it worked.”

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3027233/why-gmail-creator-paul-buchheit-gave-javascript-a-second-chance?partner=rss

CASEY NEISTAT:
Ignorance Is the Mother of Invention
“The truth is I never tried to come up with a new style; I was just never taught the way you’re supposed to do it. When you’re never taught the way you’re supposed to do things, you find your own path. Story is all I care about, I’m not a good enough writer, so I needed the images to hide behind. Embracing my ignorance is what yielded my style.”

http://www.refinery29.com/2013/08/49802/casey-neistat

Leave a comment

Filed under contrarian, creativity

ageism and creativity in programming

“I am 57 and I am a programmer, the same way Martin Scorcese is 70 and is a movie director. Or Ron Howard is 59, and Rob Reiner is 66. And that’s just film.”
— Dave Winer

GREAT POST!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under art, creativity, programming, tech

Stuck on writing

Some of us adults are a bit stuck on writing. Don’t get me wrong, writing of all types in the 21st century is still tremendously important. But there are some other forms of communication most schooling seems to have forgotten about. Well, not exactly forgotten… more likely in more cases not feeling up to the challenge.

– Audio (Radio Programs, Music, Internet: podcast only productions)
– Video (Movies, Shorts, Commercials, Internet: Video blogs/reviews/youtube)
– Videogames

Cheap computing power and the interwebs have brought tools of creation, collaboration and distribution to the 99% that would have been unthinkable to even the “professionals” of only just half a generation ago working in expensive studios.

And of course, being able to organize one’s thoughts OR produce a creative or compelling product is still what it is all about. That’s no different than with writing — all have in common the ability to sit down and collect one thoughts to put together something a little different than live performance or “face-to-face” (or Facetime) communication.

That’s the real question… what do you want to say?

So get to it people (I include myself of course…) Writing isn’t everything. It’s just one way. I would say it’s “just the beginning” except that I don’t think the order is clearcut either as it’s now possible to use things like an $150 iPod Touch to film, edit and publish videos before one is even able to write well or much (or at all). A and his friends can do this. And sure, there is still expensive editing equipment and methods one can maybe learn best from someone who is doing it. But don’t underestimate what one can do with 10,000 hours of one’s own time and a FINAL CUT PRO FOR DUMMIES type of book and explanatory youtube walkthrus and tutorials.

Leave a comment

Filed under contrarian, creativity, future, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work

Taylor Wilson

(I would personally spend my time tinkering with solar energy, but hey ok, to each their own!)
(as read on Google+)
================================
================================
Taylor Wilson

At 10, he built his first bomb.
At 11, he started mining for uranium and buying vials of plutonium on the Internet.
At 14, he made a nuclear reactor.

Wilson got his start on Fusor.net, a website where nuclear hobbyists who call themselves “fusioneers” fill message boards on topics that would enthrall only the geekiest subset of society, like “So where can I get a deal on deuterium gas?” The goal of every fusioneer is to build a reactor that can fuse atoms together, a feat first achieved by scientists in 1934.

“I’m obsessed with radioactivity. I don’t know why,” says Wilson in his laid-back drawl. “Possibly because there’s power in atoms that you can’t see, an unlocked power.”

Taylor Wilson (born 1994) is an American nuclear scientist who was noted in 2008 for being the youngest person in the world (at age 14) to build a working nuclear fusion reactor.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy offered federal funding to Wilson concerning research Wilson has conducted in building inexpensive Cherenkov radiation detectors; Wilson has declined on an interim basis due to pending patent issues. Traditional Cherenkov detectors usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD), while Wilson invented a working detector that cost a few hundred dollars.

In May 2011, Wilson entered his radiation detector in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair against a field of 1,500 competitors and won a $50,000 award.

The Boy Who Played With Fusion
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-02/boy-who-played-fusion

Tayloy’s website:
http://sciradioactive.com/Taylors_Nuke_Site/Welcome.html

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/89423

You can choose to believe that this child is special and especially gifted, and that may be so. I choose to believe that this means that children should be allowed to specialize at younger ages… They should be taught how to get the answers they might need for themselves, not from teachers.
================================
================================

1 Comment

Filed under contrarian, creativity, erik-green, globalization, homeschooling, homesteading, kids -- freedom and responsibility, solar, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, unschooling