TED : Ideas worth spreading

Review: Where good ideas come from

Speaker: Steven Johnson
TEDGlobal 2010
Date: July 2010
Location: Oxford, England

Description from TED website:
People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

This really is an interesting talk. We often think that we have those “eureka!” moments, but more often than not, we’ve been having our ideas for a long time. They brew in the recesses of our minds and finally congeal into a solid idea. Sometimes they have to comingle with other people’s budding ideas to form a complete idea.

He talks about the history of ideas and how the coffee shop played a pivotal role, as well as department meetings. I would suspect the concept of the “office water cooler” played much of a similar role.

I love the statement he made at the end of his talk:

“Chance favors the connected mind.”

He suggests that instead of trying to protect all of our ideas, we work with others to help complete those ideas. I think this talk could make for some interesting classroom discussions. How could you see using this talk to engage your students? What type of outcome do you anticipate?

Until next time … live long, life-learner!

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