Don’t let the word “digital” fool you in all this talk about how difficult it is for digital natives and digital immigrants to communicate. The truth is that this generational gap between the so-called digital natives (the generation of people born during or after the rise of digital technologies) and the digital immigrants (people born before the advent of digital technology) doesn’t actually have to do with technology. The real issue is that the two worldviews that they represent are so different.

Digital natives view the world horizontally, in equalitarian terms. Rather than dividing the world into hierarchies, they see everyone as existing on an equal level. They embrace the benefits of sharing things and ideas with each other and, in doing so, they cross boundaries. They are driven by values. For this reason, many of them are distrustful of traditional cultural and social institutions: marriage, religion, government. In opting out of these institutions, they have declared themselves microsegments of one – free agents. (more…)

I have always loved living up north but this year winter sucked. The Great Lakes froze over completely for the first time in a century. We had a gazillion days when the thermometer dipped below zero. No not wimpy Celsius zero but badass Fahrenheit zero. We had such a Homeric amount of snow that even the children in the village have started to compose folk songs about the omnipresent and eternal flurry. And the sun decided to spend the winter in Vegas and beat the house out West of all of its water. The bad news is that our roads now resemble a Zambian rock quarry, the melting snowpack is inciting our riotous rivers and monstrous lakes to reclaim territories lost to cities and other demonstrable landmarks of civilization after the ice age, and we now look upon the sunlight with the sensitive eyes of a mole rat in serious need of some opaque black Ray-Bans. (more…)

brain_gears_iStock_000013485370SmallAnalogical Creativity: Great innovators from Archimedes in his bathtub to Einstein riding his elevator of relativity have used analogies to creatively solve complex problems. We use analogies to transfer information that we believe we understand in one domain, the source, to help resolve a challenge in an unfamiliar area, the target. For example, the design of vacuum cleaners was largely unchanged for nearly a century when inventor James Dyson used a different analogy, cyclones, to devise a new way to separate particles through the spinning force of a centrifuge. With all due respect to your fifth grade teacher who diligently distinguished the differences between similes, metaphors, and analogies, these are all functions of analogical thinking. In essence, analogies are bridges that allow our cognitive processes to quickly transport clusters of information from the unknown to the known, and back again. (more…)