What I tell myself everyday.

To all the people watching, I can never ever thank you enough for the kindness to me, I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask is one thing, and this is.. I'm asking this particularily of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism - for the record it's my least favorite quality, it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." - Conan 'O'Brien

December 23, 2012

On ‘Imagine: How Creativity Works’ by Jonah Lehrer

  If you are a person interested in unearthing the methodology of things and fascinated by neuroscience, this book is for you. Creativity is a rather intangible idea, yet in this book Jonah Lehrer presents the myth of creativity in substantial scientific information, giving the reader a physical grasp on the anatomy of creativity.  

  Lehrer answers questions as such: Why all the geniuses seem to appear in the same era, why certain cities have better creative output than others, how did Pixar simulate creativity by making their staff use the same restroom area, why famous artists deem drinking and taking drugs fuels their creativity..... so on and so forth. 

 The book is roughly broken into two parts, discussing creativity in terms of individuals and groups.Every chapter presents the reader with new material. This book offers explanations to some creative rules commonly offered on the web (to which some people raise a skeptical eyebrow debating whether its a myth or fact), like the one below: 

(Creator of this image unknown. Taken from here)

  Lehrer presents his findings with clarity for those of us who are not exactly qualified neuroscience experts. Coherence, simple choice of vocabulary and the lack of jargon made this book a fairly relaxed read, given the density of the subject. Although I must admit I found it rather statistical and factual at times, like reading a report.

  On a side note, media coverage of this book had been somewhat negative, due to Lehrer’s self-plagiarism and fabricating Bob Dylan’s quotes. Despite that, I still feel that it is worth reading, especially for those intrigued by the science of creativity. 

  If you happen to be a Bob Dylan fan and is easily offended by anything that 'harms' your idol, it is not the best of ideas to read the first two chapters. The rest should be fine. 

Hardcover: 279 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition (2012)
Language: English

[This book had been removed from the shelves but is available on Amazon as offered by sellers. 
Kinokuniya at Ngee Ann City still had some stock the last I checked.]