This is very good. And it is fast.
I have enjoyed several of Steven Johnson’s previous books, Emergence and Mind Wide Open and his latest one, Where Good Ideas Come From looks to be a must read, though I think those of you who have read Wikinomics or works like Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi will find some of Johnson’s points in the video to be familiar as will those long time readers who have seen my views on horizontal thinking and insight.
My students watched this and reacted by defining themselves as those who were creative mostly through social collaboration but a decided minority required solitude and an environmental filter to think clearly and creatively – not a catalyst of a series of social-intellectual stimuli. For them, the cognitive load generated by the environment amounted to an overload, a distracting white noise that short-circuited the emergence of good ideas.
This suggests to me that there are multiple and very different neuronal pathways to creativity in the brain and a person’s predisposition in their executive function, say for example the classic “ADHD” kid at the back of the class, may have different requirements to be creative than a peer without that characteristic. It also means that creativity may be subject to improvement if we can cultivate proficiency in several “styles” of creative thinking.