A prodigy at the piano, Marc Yu wowed IdeaFestival audiences last year with his mastery of complex music. In this IdeaFestival Conversation, he says any child can be as good as he is as long as she is dedicated. But, he added, "the thing is, you have to love music."
Sometime in the next several days the IdeaFestival will release its 2010 agenda and presenters, and debut an attractive new, and much improved, web site.
The timing got me to thinking.
As an annual post-Derby event, public release of the IdeaFestival agenda could be the second act in a distinctly Louisville two-fer, a cognitive call to the post that follows the horses.
Like the infield goings-on, the mix of ideas and people at the IdeaFestival is a heady experience - it's impossible to know what you'll encounter. You'll leave, however, with a buzz, a new and unexpected thought, a flash of insight. In a world where everything but creativity has become a commodity, that's a payoff that could last a lifetime.
"Push" author Sapphire, co-producer of "Avatar," Jon Landau, and the man who committed the "artistic crime of the century," Philippe Petit, might be among the incredible and talented people who be on hand in Louisville this fall.
Author of This Will Change Everything and Edge Foundation president John Brockman invited Edge community members, who span the range of intellectual pursuit, to react to the ash cloud from Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano and to tell him, in 250 words or less, something he "didn't already know and wasn't going to read in the newspapers."
Futurist and business strategist Peter Schwartz, and mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein pointed out that no forecasts for large scale disruption of air travel because of volcanic ash clouds had been made, and so Eyjafjallajökull was a true Black Swan event.
A business school might seem like an unlikely source for this kind of news, but apparently packing up our troublesdoes help us get past unwelcome events, according to research from the Rotman School of Management.
A new study... suggests you might want to stick something
related to your disappointment in a box or envelope if you want to feel
better. In four separate experiments researchers found that the physical
act of enclosing materials related to an unpleasant experience, such as
a written recollection about it, improved people's negative feelings
towards the event and created psychological closure. Enclosing materials
unrelated to the experience did not work as well....
While the market
implications might not be immediately obvious..., the
findings point to new angles on such things as fast pick-up courier
services and pre-paid mortgage deals that relieve people's sense of debt
burden. If people realize that the memory of past events or tasks can
be distracting, perhaps there is a market for products and services that
can enclose or take away memories of that task.
Referencing a Wired UK article on "ultra mapping," Nokia's head of interface design, Adam Greenfield, stakes a claim to some pretty rich epistemological territory. Maps that dynamically pinpoint us render more than another coordinate or elevation. No, they are much more illustrious:
[A]ll those routinely gorgeous renderings of subway ridership or crime or air quality imply something very different when you can either find yourself within their ambit or cannot. At its rawest, the suggestion is this: either these issues affect me, or they do not. And this is true even if what is being mapped is a purely historical event. The implication is there, however faint.
Freakonomics points to some data that suggests - with one important qualification - that the answer may be yes. According to one study, healthier food has improved test scores and reduced student absenteeism in Greenwich, south London.
Fresh off last night's Big Bang Theory, this post in my feed reader appealed: Can adding the arts to science, technology, engineering and math help bridge the STEM deficit in the United States? "STEAM" seems, oddly, to fit.
While I'm not sure that video will draw anyone to logic, Sheldon's attempt to develop a friendship algorithm might do wonders for the biology of attraction.