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August 2013

“Building a more creative society” 
Creativity Today – Friday, August 30, 2013 
TGIF Music: The Album that Defined the 60s 

The tumultuous decade of the 1960s, the decade that marks a sharp divide in American culture still with us today, began on August 30, 1965. Or so some critics say, because this was the day, forty-eight years ago, Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” album was released. 

“Highway 61 Revisited” is ranked Number 4 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest rock albums of all time. It contains the Number 1-ranked single of all time, “Like a Rolling Stone”. 

Highway 61 is the storied “Blues Highway” that runs parallel to the Mississippi River from New Orleans through the Mississippi Delta up through St. Louis, Memphis and, not coincidentally, Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan’s birthplace. It is Dylan’s creative, poetic melding of the blues and travel themes, capturing the tempo of this chaotic time that makes this album a cultural landmark. 

Listen to entire album at the link. 

Quote of the Day: “And it dawned on me that I might have to change my inner thought patterns... that I would have to start believing in possibilities that I wouldn't have allowed before, that I had been closing my creativity down to a very narrow, controllable scale... that things had become too familiar and I might have to disorientate myself.” – Bob Dylan 


“Building a more creative society” 
Creativity Today – Monday, August 26, 2013
Coursera offers on-line creativity and innovation course

The MOOC company, Coursera, is offering a free, online course in Creativity, Innovation and Change from Penn State University.  It starts next Monday.  Find out more and register at the link.

 Quote of the Day: “I think it's fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we've ever created. They're tools of communication, they're tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.” -- Bill Gates


“Building a more creative society” 
Creativity Today – Tuesday, August 20, 2013 
In Memoriam: Sidney J. Parnes 

We mourn the passing of a legend in building a more creative society, Sidney J. Parnes. Understand his legacy by reading the history of the creative training field by the Creative Education Foundation at the link. 

Quote of the Day: "Creativity can be considered a function of knowledge, imagination, and evaluation. Without knowledge, there obviously can be no productive creativity" – Sid Parnes 


“Building a more creative society” 
Creativity Today - Monday, August 19, 2013 
“Why Innovation Is Still Capitalism’s Star” 

And we’re back! … 

The title for today’s entry is also the title of a great piece by the distinguished economist Robert J. Shiller from Sunday’s New York Times. Among other things, Schiller recounts his own struggles as an innovator and entrepreneur in creating the now famous Case-Shiller housing index. The index is frequently cited as the authoritative source on the housing market, something we all know has been of great concern as the origin for many of the problems that caused the Great Recession. 

Along the way, Shiller brings our attention to a new book (to me at least), “Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge and Change”. While more skeptical than the book’s author about the trend, Shiller raises concern about how the U.S. is becoming more “corporatism, a political philosophy in which economic activity is controlled by large interest groups or the government.” Shiller regards corporatism as a threat to the innovative spirit. 

This leads into a critique of the federal government’s new “innovation institutes” initiative, something I have more positively reviewed in this blog. Shiller does believe that the government has an important role in promoting innovation, just one that is very nuanced. 

All in all, a very good read. 

Quote of the Day: “It amazes me how people are often more willing to act based on little or no data than to use data that is a challenge to assemble.” – Robert J. Shiller