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10 talks about the beauty — and difficulty — of being creative

12 Nov

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Radio host Julie Burstein has found the perfect analogy for creativity—raku pottery. A Japanese art form in which molded clay is heated for 15 minutes and then dropped in sawdust which bursts into flames, what makes this pottery so beautiful is its imperfections and cracks.

Burstein interviewed hundred of artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers for her book, Spark: How Creativity Works, and heard many of them describe their process in similar terms — that the best parts of their work came from embracing challenges, misfortunes and the things they simply couldn’t control. As Burstein explains in this talk given at TED2012, “I realized that creativity grows out of everyday experiences more often than you would think.”

In this talk, Burstein identifies four lessons that creative people should embrace:

  1. Pay attention to the world around you, and be open to experiences that might change you.
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  2. Realize that the…

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5 talks that are all about lying

9 Nov

Originally posted on TED Blog:

The average person lies once or twice a day. And as Cornell psychology professor Jeff Hancock shares in today’s fascinating talk, given at TEDxWinnipeg, the anonymity and ambiguity of technology give us a whole new arsenal of ways to fib. He and his team have identified three new types of lies made possible by text messages, email and online comments.

  1. The Butler. These are lies that draw lines in the 24/7 nature of our relationships, while maintaining friendships. For example: “I’m on my way” or “Sorry I didn’t respond earlier. I didn’t see the message.”
  2. The Sock Puppet. These are lies that preserve identity, like when someone idealizes themselves in their online dating profile.
  3. The Chinese Water Army. These are lies which seek to build a reputation en masse, like when a company posts hundreds of positive ratings of their own product.

But Hancock has noticed…

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5 fascinating findings on how disgust affects the way we vote, grocery shop and discriminate

23 Oct

Originally posted on TED Blog:

A plate of food overrun by roaches. A blood-encrusted scab. The squish of dog poo under one’s shoe. In this talk from TEDxEast, David Pizarro explains that each of these images elicits disgust, a visceral emotion that serves a good purpose — to keep us away from harmful substances. But disgust may in fact do much more than that.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that this emotion of disgust influences our moral beliefs and even our deeply held political intuitions,” says Pizarro, a professor of psychology at Cornell University. “It works through association. When one disgusting thing touches a clean thing, that clean thing becomes disgusting — not the other way around. This becomes a very useful as a strategy if you want to convince someone that an object, or an individual or an entire social group ought to be avoided.” As Pizarro points out, Nazi propaganda described Jews…

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