What Makes A Family Of Artists

Another fantastic blog post by Maria Konnikova, for The New Yorker, discussing the studies that explore whether creativity is hereditary or not: 

After a decade of research, [Baptiste] Barbot has discovered that, if we are to understand the hereditary and environmental nature of creativity, we need to think of creativity as a constellation of factors that come together in the right way, at the right moment—“maybe a bit of intelligence, some associative thinking, some divergent thinking, and then some personality traits, like the tendency to take risks, your motivation, and your specific interests.” he said. “These factors are partly genetically based, and, of course, partly environmental.”


The Week's Links: August 15, 2014

All the links posted on social networks this week:

  • A Stroll Through French Typography owl.li/AfQ5k
  • Robots Roam the Tate Museum So You Can 'Visit' After Dark owl.li/Aik3W
  • Visual Designers Checklist for the Web owl.li/AfP5C
  • This Is Going To Change How You Listen To Music Forever owl.li/AfO4w
  • 15 Designers Reveal Secrets For Staying Productiveowl.li/AfNJ1
  • Quotes from Sir Ken Robinson’s 2013 TED talkowl.li/AcNQ8
  • Amazing: First-person Hyperlapse Videos owl.li/AfcIX
  • ◉ Banksy on criticism owl.li/AaGtE
  • ◉ How To Be Polite -smartercreativity.com/blog/2014/8/14…
  • With $50 million, BuzzFeed growth calls for sharper lines between news and the other stuff owl.li/AehTt
  • 50 Million New Reasons BuzzFeed Wants to Take Its Content Far Beyond Lists - NYTimes.comowl.li/AcNpm
  • Powerful Portraits of People Living Off the Gridowl.li/Adbge
  • White House launches ‘U.S. Digital Service,’ withHealthCare.gov fixer at the helm owl.li/AfOq8
  • Another beautiful Chrome Experiment: A Spacecraft for All: The Journey of the ISEE-3 owl.li/AcNkA
  • Guy Makes Statues Take Selfies By Cleverly Positioning His Camera owl.li/AcBzh
  • What happens in Vegas: Black Hat and Def Con in pictures owl.li/AcBs1
  • Who Really Controls The Wearable Tech Market?owl.li/AcpeO
  • I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me owl.li/AcyH7
  • ◉ Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming owl.li/AaGpM
  • For A More Ordered Life, Organize Like A Chefowl.li/Acyt9
  • Your iPhone Camera Can Work As A Microscopeowl.li/AcosM
  • Fascinating story beautifully designed| Edward Snowden: The Untold Story - WIRED owl.li/AhEDb
  • What Happened When I Woke Up Two Hours Earlier For A Week owl.li/Acq63
  • Assess Your Cultural Profile - David Championowl.li/AcCXc
  • Kleon vs. Anderson | Layer Tennis is back!owl.li/AbA0O
  • As P&G Looks to Cut More Than Half Its Brands, Which Should Go? owl.li/AaMBH
  • Video Games If They Were Medieval Religious Paintings owl.li/AaDVS
  • Fascinating Photos Show Evolution Of British Soldiers’ Kits From 1066 To 2014 owl.li/A9fvI
  • HBO Go is readying itself for battle against Netflixowl.li/AaDQ8
  • Creativity Top 5: The Best Brand Ideas of the Weekowl.li/AfNzD
  • ◉ George R.R. Martin on readers owl.li/AaGmg
  • Get An Up-Close, Super Slow-Motion Look At Honey Bees In Flight And At Work owl.li/A9f9l
  • ◉ Restoration Hardware’s Mail-Order Extravagance -smartercreativity.com/blog/2014/8/12…
  • 3 Outlandish Ideas To Improve Air Travel, From The Designers Of Beats By Dre owl.li/AaDK1
  • Amazon takes on Disney in DVD pricing fight - LA Times owl.li/Afqk0
  • ▶ What causes antibiotic resistance? - Kevin Wuowl.li/A9eS4
  • ◉ Recommended: Paul Rand's Thoughts on Design -smartercreativity.com/recommendation…
  • Aspirin a day could dramatically cut cancer risk, says biggest study yet owl.li/A9fAz
  • The 5 Best TED Talks On: Motivation owl.li/A8MBS
  • Wikipedia Defends the Monkey Selfie owl.li/A8LwB
  • Hyundai Will Air Sci-Fi Short Film During Commercial Breaks owl.li/A8Lrq
  • Netflix now has more subscription revenue than HBOowl.li/A5bYT
  • Simplifying the Bull: How Picasso Helps to Teach Apple’s Style - Inside Apple’s Internal Training Program owl.li/AddKE
  • IBM Builds a Chip That Works Like Your Brainowl.li/A8KYN
  • Google to Tie Mobile Web, App Trackers for Ad Targeting owl.li/A5bhD
  • ◉ John Maeda on Complexity and Simplicityowl.li/AaGju
  • The Benefits of Movement in Schools owl.li/A8KWb
  • Slot-machine science: How casinos get you to spend more money owl.li/A56WJ
  • Inside YouTube's Fame Factory owl.li/A8ise
  • A Stunning Photo of the Space Shuttle ‘Endeavour’ Approaching the International Space Stationowl.li/A8Lz2
  • ◉ Recommended: 100 Ideas that Changed the Web -smartercreativity.com/recommendation…
  • Yuko Shimizu: Make Your Own Path owl.li/A54S9
  • United Airlines app can now scan your passport for international flights owl.li/A4Zwa
  • The Best Documentaries of All Time- Sight & Soundowl.li/A4ZiS
  • 21 of the Best Lessons for Your Creative Careerowl.li/zZH2l
  • What Do Great Musicians Have in Common? DNA- Scientific American owl.li/A4Qmt
  • How Spike Jonze's Films Come Together in Editingowl.li/zXIJT
  • Art Takes Over 50,000 Outdoor Ad Spaces in the U.S., and Wow Is It Beautiful owl.li/A4OZF
  • Report: Libraries Struggling with E-books owl.li/zXIDW
  • 6 thinkers whose depressing ideas will make you feel better owl.li/A4EfE
  • Never Stop Learning: How Self-Education Creates a Bullet-Proof Career owl.li/A54JR
  • Art Takes Over 50,000 Outdoor Ad Spaces in the U.S., and Wow Is It Beautiful owl.li/zXIgX
  • How Successful People Stay Calm owl.li/zX4TD
  • According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively” - No it does not. owl.li/zX4Db
  • Out in the Open: The Abandoned Facebook Tech That Now Helps Power Apple owl.li/zW9Yf
  • Extracting audio from visual information: Algorithm recovers speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag. MIT owl.li/zWduH
  • Making Yourself Work owl.li/zW4Ap
  • The Data Centers of Tomorrow Will Use the Same Tech Our Phones Do owl.li/zWalD
  • The Data Centers of Tomorrow Will Use the Same Tech Our Phones Do owl.li/zVZcQ
  • The 10 Greatest Documentaries of All Time According to 340 Filmmakers and Critics owl.li/zWaeh
  • Rebooting YouTube owl.li/zXHIZ
  • Gratitude and its Dangers in Social Technologies- MIT Center for Civic Media owl.li/zVZ6l
  • Traffic During the Facebook Outage: Overall traffic on news sites dropped by 3% owl.li/zVYVw
  • The Former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather on Personal Branding owl.li/zVY8u
  • The Economics of Jane Austen owl.li/zUIXm
  • Twitter Testing Easier-To-Use Hashtags owl.li/zVNIp
  • Amazon vs Hachette: What Readers Need to Knowowl.li/zUIDt
  • ◉ Recommended: Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know about Writing owl.li/zSTd0
  • ◉ John Maeda on Complexity and Simplicityowl.li/zSTqO
  • The Accumulibrary: Modern libraries should be as big and chaotic as Amazon’s warehouses. owl.li/zUIrk
  • Poetry? There's an app for that. owl.li/zUJ2U
  • Dancing and Hoping to Win Fans for Life -NYTimes.com owl.li/zUIdS

How To Be Polite

Paul Ford writing on Medium about politeness

Here’s a polite person’s trick, one that has never failed me. I will share it with you because I like and respect you, and it is clear to me that you’ll know how to apply it wisely: When you are at a party and are thrust into conversation with someone, see how long you can hold off before talking about what they do for a living. And when that painful lull arrives, be the master of it. I have come to revel in that agonizing first pause, because I know that I can push a conversation through. Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: “Wow. That sounds hard.”

Restoration Hardware’s Mail-Order Extravagance

Amy Merrick, writing in The New Yorker, explores why Restoration Hardware mailed a 17-pound catalog: 

Why do we still have catalogues? Web and mobile browsers have improved dramatically in the past decade. It’s hard to argue that catalogues, like books, are objects worth preserving for their aesthetic value; they will be obsolete within months. Yet Americans received nearly twelve billion catalogs last year.
Marketers say that people who browse catalogues buy more than those who shop only online. The U.S. Postal Service works hard to promote catalogues, which have become an increasingly important segment of U.S.P.S. business as people mail fewer first-class letters. The online retailer Bonobos, which began shipping catalogues last year, told the Wall Street Journal that twenty per cent of its new Web customers placed orders after receiving their first mailings, and spent more than other new shoppers.
Those incremental sales are accompanied by enormous waste. Industry surveys from groups like the Direct Marketing Association estimate that catalogues get average response rates of four to five per cent. In the case of Restoration Hardware, that means that for every sixty thousand pages mailed, approximately three thousand pay off.