Meeting on the Right Side of the Brain

We've been preaching it for years, but I guess it is now news:

Creative work environments improve creative thinking!

Congrats to Leslie Marquard and Catalyst Ranch on leading the piece. Thanks for bringing "right-brained thinking" to a "left-brained" world. (Actually, working in creative environments and using multiple learning modalities inspires whole-brain thinking.)
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Steve Kagan for The New York Times
By ELAINE GLUSAC | Published: April 30, 2008

WHEN Leslie Marquard, an executive coach, holds strategy sessions for consulting firms or university administrators, she ushers her buttoned-up clientele into rooms full of Pogo sticks, ethnic art, hammocks, vintage furniture and a pillow “harem.”

“They are surprised and also endeared by it,” said Ms. Marquard, a co-founder of Marble Leadership Partners in Chicago. The “it” she referred to is Catalyst Ranch, an independent alternative meeting space in a former sausage factory near the Loop in Chicago. “They’ll say, ‘That table looks just like one I grew up with.’ It subconsciously releases the mind.”

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The Point: Web 2.0 tool for creating your own change


The Point brings together problems, people, and the pressure of collective action. The site allows users to create campaigns and encourage other people to join anonymously.

Using the principles of Gladwell's Tipping Point, once the number of members reaches a certain critical mass (10, 50, 2000) and action is triggered: a sale, a press release, a protest.

Campaigns are tools for people to organize a group action that occurs only when enough people join to make participation worthwhile. Campaigns can be used for any situation where people want safety in numbers, from planning a party to boycotting a corporation to saving chickens.

Check out the simple, clever animations used to demonstrate the types of people, the problems they want to tackle, and the resulting campaigns--that can use The Point to catalyze change.

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Make Something Happen.


The Point is a platform for group action, helping you make things happen that you couldn't accomplish alone.

Quick Primer on Graphs and Networks

The power and flexibility of a network--whether a simple group of casual neighbors or a complex next generation communication network--depends not just on the number of connections, but on the quality of the nodes, and more important, the type of nodes. Below is a fantastic intro to the concept of graphs and networks. It helps in understanding the a social graph and how it differs from a social network.

In Mathematics, a Graph is an abstraction for modeling relationships between things. It is no different from a Network, which is a more common term for describing the same thing. Graphs consists of nodes and edges, or things and the ways that things relate to each other. As it turns out, Graphs are very powerful modeling tools for modeling natural and man-made systems. Diverse things like the Web, power grids, economies and even cells can be represented and analyzed as networks.

Note: Images above are from the Visual Complexity Gallery

What is also remarkable is that a lot can be said about a graph by looking at its structure; and the evolution of the structure. For example, epidemiologists use graph structures to predict the spread of an epidemic. The very same model can be used to understand how wild fire spreads, as well as how to engineer a viral marketing campaign. The better we understand the structure of a system's graph, the more we can control it, predict it and analyze it.

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Manic Comic Preachers

This group of international comic artists and illustrators picks a theme (kittens, hobos, moustaches) and dips their quills into the surreal every Thursday night. The results are posted on their blog.

STL Drawing Club


STL Drawing Club has gone global with the addition of Maximo "Max" Vento. Max is an up and coming graphic novelist who hails from Spain. His first book is due out in his homeland by the end of the year. Clean shaven, baby-faced Max gives us his take on our mustache theme.

In honor of the upcoming FBC mustache ride we all drew mustache themed drawings last night. You know what that means!!! NOTE: I'm not crying in that self-portrait, those are eye boogers. Although YOU'D probably cry if you were driving a hot-rod made entirely out of your own mustache.

Rushkoff's Reality Tunnel

RushkoffThis winter, Doug Rushkoff experienced a series of changes, confrontations and revelations that refocused his understanding of "value".

As a media critic and author, he has been writing books for 15 years and has been hosting an online community of one sort or another for nearly as long.

In a short period of time, Rushkoff was challenged to a duel by a member of the “psychedelic elite” and was shaken to learn that one of his heroes of the 60s, Robert Anton Wilson, author of Cosmic Trigger and Prometheus Rising, was near death and near bankruptcy.

In his article, The Light at the End of the Reality Tunnel, in Arthur Magazine, you can read Doug's reflections on the free market ecology based on reputation, the danger of reality tunnels, the power of thoughts, and the value of communities over heroes.