Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From

Here’s an illustrated video that promotes Steven Johnson’s book, “Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation”.

It illustrates how ideas, for the most part, remain in a “hunched” state (under-developed or half-conceptualized) for years, and how, only after having interactions with other people’s ideas, or having ideas left to incubate in one’s own mind, do they turn into complete ideas that can get translated into something in a more final state.

Here’s a blurb about the book, grabbed from the YouTube post (September 17, 2010):

Beginning with Charles Darwin’s first encounter with the teeming ecosystem of the coral reef and drawing connections to the intellectual hyperproductivity of modern megacities and to the instant success of YouTube, Johnson shows us that the question we need to ask is, What kind of environment fosters the development of good ideas?

The short video shows how, in today’s world of the internet and fast information, even though it distracts us much more from formulating finalized ideas, it also increases our “absorption” of other ideas that could inspire our own ideas, to encourage accidental discoveries.

This, at least, has made me feel more comfortable about my internet-intensive lifestyle. This book should be an interesting read.

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