Welcome, Guest. Please Login
Tinderbox
  News:
IMPORTANT MESSAGE! This forum has now been replaced by a new forum at http://forum.eastgate.com and no further posting or member registration is allowed. The forum is still accessible via read-only access for reference purposes. If you wish to discuss content here, please use the new forum. N.B. - posting in the new forum requires a fresh registration in the new forum (sorry - member data can't be ported).
  HomeHelpSearchLogin  
 
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Steven Johnson's new book on creativity (Read 3148 times)
Greg Korgeski
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 89
Vermont
Steven Johnson's new book on creativity
Oct 23rd, 2010, 2:36pm
 
I've been reading Steven Johnson's new book, Where Good Ideas Come From, and thought it worth recommending to folks here.  Johnson has a rather fresh discussion of how creativity often involves long periods of incubation of ideas, but with an emphasis on the process by which people are often most innovative when they can constantly review, revise, refresh their memories about previously thought thoughts.  (He is less convinced of the value of the 'flash of insight" that seems to arrive out of the blue, with no prior base of knowledge or thought or struggle to fit the pieces together.)  

Of great relevance to Tinderbox users, and related to various discussions on the forum on the use of Tinderbox as a kind of knowledge repository, he explores the history of various technologies for storing and accessing one's ideas, from the development and use of "commonplace books" to more formalized approaches, such as John Locke's system for indexing the content of his notebooks, to the eventual development of the World Wide Web platform, in part inspired by those older methods of collecting and retrieving one's ideas and notes.

Johnson does include a discussion of his use of DEVONthink's AI functions (similar to his 2005 NY Times article on this) and its "see also" tool for finding similar notes, akin to Tinderbox's "find similar" tool.  (Discussed this a bit recently on the forum -- sorry I can't figure out how to post a link in this forum.)  He did volunteer a bit of information on how DEVONthink's process works which was pretty similar to what Mark described as Tinderbox's method for identifying similar notes (Johnson says DEVONthink will identify semantic connections between passages in part by "tracking the frequency with which words appear near each other," so apparently a particular word would not have to appear in a note for it to come up in the search for similar notes -- his example is how he wrote about "sewage systems" and DEVONthink located notes with the word "waste" which had nothing to do with sewage, but which he nevertheless found very evocative and so useful in expanding his ideational network.)

This is one of the better books on creativity; it's by no means done as a "how to" book but more as he says, a "natural history" of creativity.  Still, Tinderboxers will probably find it a rich and useful affirmation of what they probably do with their own Tinderbox collections, especially if you're of the "big Tinderbox document" persuasion.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Sebastian Stephenson
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 100

Re: Steven Johnson's new book on creativity
Reply #1 - Oct 24th, 2010, 5:19am
 
Will have to out for that. I am planning to buy that book. thanks
Back to top
 
 
Sebastian Stephenson sebey9   IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print