Heading to Paris on Friday...and will be writing about the experience if the hotel I am staying in has what they say they do...high-speed net access. Look for pics from the food show I will be attending, as I will place them in a folder on the right side of the page.
The Art of Peace: Robert Sapolsky and John Stempel discussed the art of hippy-dom and how to make a profit from crafting homemade hacky sacks. Just joking, really interesting take on peace and the perspective these speakers gave made room for thought in my head. Held at the Muhammad Ali Center during it's inaugural year certainly makes sense as The GOAT has been working for peace during the last half of his life. Wish the sessions were made into podcast's as Robert Sapolsky is a fascinating speaker... his delivery method is completely from memory, and his opinion (exactly the way he has couched it up) is really interesting. John Stempel, while being a valid candidate for this topic, has been teaching too long and delivers his content as a syllabus with a reading list and a mountain of references to other people's books. Does the academic community only hold validity in the published word?
Best thing that John Stempel said was that we need to understand the other man's language. He believes that American's are far behind the curve when it comes to speaking, foreign tongues. The U.S. is at permanent war, and there is no division between war and peace. We have to behave our way to peace. As a one time diplomat to the Middle East he heard it said that "diplomacy is the art of saying nice doggie while looking for a bigger rock." In modern diplomacy we need both institutions and actors, that will allow citizens to act in concert. Knowing the other (possible conflict), but not demonizing him is critical to growth.
Mr Sapolsky had some great analogies; 1. We are in some instances the same as animals 2. Have things in common but execute them in a completely novel way 3. Exhibit behavior that is unique only in humans
Oddly enough his examples of aggression, dominance, and murder are all not unique to the human, but exhibited across many other animal species. But according to Robert Sapolsky "the only chance we have to solve this social problem (lack of peace) is to look at those examples where humans are uniquely alone in their approach - like their ability to give selflessly." His example of this is the work of some Catholic Nuns, who have worked with men on death row where they find the worst behavior in humans and give to them their absolute best. Really interesting approach from what appeared to be a real guy...he told a story of how his son was being picked on at school, and his first reaction was to kill the other kid. Instead he told his son to invite the other kid over to play. All other options seemed fallible to him, as they involved death or the involvement of a third party like the school or a counselor for his kid. I found this was an interesting approach to violence...bring it closer to yourself in hopes of creating a relationship that would supersede the action.
I would have found it interesting to have a possible third member of their panel. A military strategists to give some perspective to the obvious questions left in the room. How do we maintain the freedom's we have come accustomed too, without lording our military dominance over the world? However, in retrospect the lineup of speakers made sense in the spirit in which it was given - look for answers outside of the normal set of typical solutions. Peace is not easy.
Acclaimed DJ, author, and all around bright guy DJ Spooky remixed Birth of a Nation by Griffith into something pretty cool. Prior to the show he gave a little history on the movie, some perspective on the period of time in which it was made, the fact that it was the first movie shown at the White House. Finally his reasons for remixing it which was to give a DJ's perspective that maybe you could remix history. It is his art project, and for the show I was grateful.
While I really like DJ Spooky's work...as I sit here in the Brown Theater I must admit...I get it! You can remix a movie into a new type of message, but damn it drags a bit right around hour number two.
I 'm not saying it wasn't interesting but I've seen French cinema with more punch, and less artistic fluff. My only hope at this point is that Spooky runs some Public Enemy tracks over some Tampon commercials.
One of the more reassuring aspects of the Idea Festival is the statement from most of the speakers I heard over the last two days is that " good ideas can come from anywhere".
I would add that you must be looking for the right redundancy in the culture in order to identify the tell-tale signs of an emerging idea. Everyone looks for ideas, but many overlook the seemingly mundane or divergent thoughts as signs of an idea whose time has come. A ripple of thought can be the trigger for a larger notion that can become a full onslaught of a movement. Without looking for the ripples, you only catch the waves that are already upon you. Watch the little stones being dropped in the streams...they make the best precursors for the growing tides.
I find this unilaterally accepted by every person I've met who embody those special qualities and mindset of an innovator and creative entrepreneur. Not every person at this festival is geared that way...but they are open to the thoughts around them.
I am in Louisville, KY at the Idea Festival. Mainly bacause the wonderful tagline..."great ideas can come from anywhere. This fall they'll be coming from Louisville, KY."
I love the concept that great thoughts can come from the most unknown places...and if we keep our eyes open for the right set of cues than we can identify the breakthrough ideas and act on them.
Really I came to the Idea Festival because of the power and diversity of the speakers and events. The lineup includes former editors of Fast Company, chefs, artisans, scientists, and DJ's. That is the kind of event that I can get into...stay tuned and I will update with my thoughts and reactions.
Some time ago I purchased and read the book "The Areas of My Expertise" by John Hodgman and told many about it...to the point that the publisher sent me a personal thank you with a lock of her hair. It was coarse hair and I found it unpleasant to touch, handle, and digest - but it made for a wonderful paint brush.
You might know John Hodgman from the now somewhat famous Mac/PC ads where one guy is playing the part of a mac and the other dude is a PC, he is the PC. Here is a HUGE photo of one John Hodgman here. I took this photo with my Canon GL-2 and transfered the digital image to Adobe Photoshop CS-2 where I added the cat. John asked for the file for his website, but he wanted me to remove the cat from the image as he felt it was unnecessary to the artistic integrity of the picture. I refused to do so, and the refusal has caused a large rift between us that I am unsure will ever be rectified. But, notwithstanding our professional feud his latest work is brilliant. I have enjoyed the recent audiobook so much that I have listened to parts of it twice, and once while completely unconscious in my hyperbolic chamber. Hodgman reads the book himself, and the performance is worthy of tuning in for. So come on, you cheap bastards - pony up the $18 on iTunes and give your ears a thrill. Or steal it from your local music provider.
Well, I went ahead and got an eNook. You know, the desk I mentioned a few months ago here on BrainBlenders that hangs on the wall and folds down enabling one to keep a tighter workspace. I really don't need a tighter work environment...but I do love the idea of being able to stand at my desk and have others walk up to the space and comfortably look off of my computer screen. And although many have questioned my sanity I really like it. My real hope is that it will afford me more communication space around my office. I would prefer the space to become a very open use location.
To give you some perspective the unfolded workspace is 42 inches high. 37 inches wide and 100% dope (sorry...listening to KRS-One right now).
another vomit bag advertising idea for my collection. this one depicts a mother-like figure placing her child in the overhead compartment prior to the flight. I actually think that would be a more comfortable place to be during the flight if you could handle the complete dark and coffin like container, but it's meant for kids and they are a resilient bunch so i'm sure they would be fine.
the crude drawing is my own in case you couldn't tell. need more compelling creative ideas for my ad campaign. accepting all entries at this point.
Can't tell you how much I dig this product. The Knork is a combination of a knife and a fork; not sharp enough to cut the inside of your mouth, but just sharp enough to help cut through food. Originally designed for eating pizza the Knork has been applied all across the board and is for sale individually, in packs, and in reusable plastic.
We should hold all our meetings inside artistic settings. Who is we? ALL OF US! It seems that people are fascinated lately with design as a vital element of all things consumerific, so I found it apropos that I found myself inside an art museum today ideating for new services and products. Not hard to spark creativity when the setting itself was almost stimulus enough for the entire day...sure makes the late nights worth the effort. For information about the MAM go here. For more pics check out my work pics down on the column on the right.