Steven Johnson has spent twenty years immersed in creative industries, was active at the dawn of the internet and has a unique perspective that draws on his fluency in fields ranging from neurobiology to new media. In his new book, he identifies the key principles to the genesis of great ideas, from the cultivation of hunches to the importance of connectivity and how best to make use of new technologies. By recognising where and how patterns of creativity occur – whether within a school, a software platform or a social movement – he shows how we can make more of our ideas good ones. This event celebrates the publication of his latest book Where Good Ideas Come From: A Natural History of Innovation.
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Sometimes the way you conduct science has profound impacts on society as a whole. Malcolm Gladwell says the way we look at who is and who isn’t successful is crucial. He says it’s dangerous to think East Africans are good runners because they have an innate gene that makes them fast. Instead, you have to look at cultural attitudes. More people run in Kenya and Ethiopia than in the U.S. Therefore, those countries produce more successful runners. If you were to think if it in terms of genes, well, that’s the same philosophy that gets people thinking African–Americans aren’t as smart as whites. The real reasons behind success rates in professions like medicine and law have to do with class, not genius. Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book is "Outliers: The Story of Success." He also writes for The New Yorker magazine. Gladwell spoke at Town Hall Seattle on January 17, 2009.
When you download music or text from the web, you may be innocently breaking the law. Jim Lebans, a producer with CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, looks at the tangled world of intellectual property and how the digital age is challenging ideas about who owns our culture.