Category: Do it-soon

Holding on to unrealised ideas blocks creativity: downsize your “idea debt”

ARTICLE/ VIDEO: Idea debt is the pile of ideas you keep revisiting but never finish, or even never begin. It can be a book, an app, a business, any project that grows in your mind but not in reality. It feels much more impressive than the projects you’re actually carrying out, with all their disappointments and compromises. Like financial debt, a little well-managed idea debt is healthy. It’s good to mull over ideas, to file them for later, to give yourself more creative options than you use. But sometimes you need to pay that debt down. Luckily you’re your own debtor, so you have plenty of options.

SOURCE: Lifehacker & Medium

Hacker News — don’t let the title scare you. A treasure trove of good reads

WEBSITE: Y Combinator, one of the best known Silicon Valley accelerators, launched an internal side project in 2007 that would end up becoming highly influential in a different and surprising way. Its user-powered news aggregator called Hacker News, which is now visited by 20 million people per month, has become a mainstay for entrepreneurs, tech professionals, and venture capitalists around the world. Using a Reddit-like interface, users can upvote and downvote articles that they think have the most relevance to trends and issues affecting the tech sector.

The user interface is nerdy in the extreme: absolutely bereft of anything that smells even faintly of frills. Although the articles are centred around the tech space, there is a whole treasure trove of interesting stuff that the users throw up. Hacker News is a total delight.

SOURCE: Hacker News

For the illiterate adult, learning to read produces enormous brain changes

ARTICLE: The brain did not evolve to read. It uses the neural muscle of pre-existing visual and language processing areas to enable us to take in works of literature. Reading, usually, begins in the first years of schooling, a time when these brain regions are still in development. What happens, though, when an adult starts learning after the age of 30?

SOURCE: Scientific American

What you see is what your brain gets you to see — perception is incredibly plastic

LONG ARTICLE FOR HARDCORE READERS: Perception underpins everything we think, do, believe, know, or love. We treat our perceptions as if they’re constant and intransigent, when many are actually flexible and come from a place. When we understand where they come from we can actually alter where they’re going to go. It’s stepping out of the physics of no, into the biology of maybe, of possibility. It is our ability to defy conformity that has triggered nearly every advance in human progress. The next big innovation probably won’t be a new technology but a new way of seeing.

SOURCE: National Geographic

The art of introducing yourself before making a presentation: some tips

INFOGRAPHIC: Even in situations where you are introduced to the audience by someone else, you will need to make a personal version before you get into the heart of the matter. This portion of your talk will set the mood for the audience. Do it well and you will have them with you; flub the job and your message will be lost in a void. Unlike the actual presentation, for which there are any number of how-to pieces, this vital aspect is seldom spoken about. Here are some tips for doing the job effectively.


Creativity requires a disciplined life: “Eureka!” moments are rare

INFOGRAPHIC: It’s a common misconception that in order to be creative, one must live life on a whim with no structure and no sense of need to do anything, but the habits of highly successful and creative people suggest otherwise.You must work on your creativity if you want it to flourish. Give these six strategies a try to see what they can do for you.

SOURCE: The Ladders

Most of the world’s languages invent names for colour in the same order

VIDEO: In 1969, two Berkeley researchers, Paul Kay and Brent Berlin, published a book on a pretty groundbreaking idea: that every culture in history, when they developed their languages, invented words for colors in the exact same order. The theory was revolutionary — and it shaped our understanding of how color terminologies emerge.

SOURCE: Vox/ YouTube

There is no basis for the popular belief that we only use 10 percent of our brain

VIDEO: Let’s get one thing out of the way: humans use more than 10 percent of our brains. This isn’t a surprise to a lot of people, but there’s more to the science of our cognitive potential than knowing that it can’t be true that 90 percent of our gray matter is inactive. The claim has been around for a long time, but where did it come from, anyway? And why are we so eager to believe it? How much of our brain do we really use — and is there a limit to what we can learn?

SOURCE: The Verge

Putting your thumb to work will make tablets easier to use

VIDEO: When you use a stylus-capable tablet, you devote your strong hand to the task of wielding the stylus while your weaker hand gets the job of pincering the device to hold it steady. Microsoft reckons that the pincering thumb is wasted and should instead be put to work. This video from Microsoft Research addresses the simultaneous, and complementary, use of pen & touch modalities for interaction with tablets. The thumb is available and sufficiently mobile to manipulate many controls, enabling a whole new space of “thumb + pen” interactions.

Brilliant concept. Can’t wait till this hits the streets. You would think that Apple, with its colossal straddling of the tablet market, would have come up with this idea a long time ago. Slowly, but surely, Microsoft is creeping into Apple terrain.

SOURCE: Microsoft Research

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