Friday, August 3, 2012

Imagine - Your Brain, Your City, Your Crew

Insight and Thought Leadership or Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

An entry from the Way Better Patents Reading List that has been pulled.

This post was written before it was revealed that Jonah Lehrer fabricated material in this book, notably quotes from Bob Dylan on how he created his music.  A July 30th story in the New York Times details how Mr. Lehrer fabricated the Dylan quotes and how he was exposed by Michael C. Moynihan in a Tablet article.  It calls into question the accuracy of the rest of the book.

We present our original review here.  Perhaps we were hoodwinked too.  The publisher has pulled the book off the shelves and is recalling it.  Time will tell if it resurfaces.  But in the meantime, here's what we originally wrote.  Amazon is in the process of pulling the book off its digital shelves as well.   If you get a question mark where the image goes, we will know the deed is done.

The original review.

This book may help you answer that important question, "Why didn't I think of that?"  This book is one of the best explorations of how people create things from the vantage point of how they think about them, what factors influence their thinking, and how who you hang out with can help drive your creativity.

Mr. Lehrer presents some interesting ways patents provide indicators that creativity is happening. And they are very revealing.  An analysis of patent citations reveals that "innovation was largely a local process, citations were ten times as likely to come from the same metropolitan area as a control patent."  Inventors are inspired by people in the 'hood.  And the best hoods for making this happen are the urban ones.  This is among the interesting information Mr. Lehrer presents.  (We aren't so sure about this one and are working to see if there is any truth on the citation front.)

Here the journalistic writing style makes even detailed information about neuroscience digestible and thought provoking.

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer — A great resource on understanding where ideas and creativity come from. Good insight on how patents point to good things happening. We were a bit put off by the hackneyed and unenlightened "fix the patent system" rhetoric without a plan at the conclusion of this book. (Note to self, write to Mr. Lehrer and see what his recommendations are.)