Tag Archives: problem-solving

“The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks.”

Jonah Lehrer in the New Yorker lays out how Brainstorming exercises don’t add up to what we think, and shows us that diversity leads to more innovative ideas in “Groupthink: The Brainstroming Myth”:

The fatal misconception behind brainstorming is that there is a particular script we should all follow in group interactions. The lesson of Building 20 is that when the composition of the group is right—enough people with different perspectives running into one another in unpredictable ways—the group dynamic will take care of itself. All these errant discussions add up. In fact, they may even be the most essential part of the creative process. Although such conversations will occasionally be unpleasant—not everyone is always in the mood for small talk or criticism—that doesn’t mean that they can be avoided. The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks.

Read the whole thing.

Rebuttal: Scott Berkun: “In Defense of Brainstorming”.

A retrospective on “No Silver Bullet” in Software Engineering

OOPSLA held an all-star panel (including Dave Thomas and Martin Fowler), earlier this year, on the must-read paper from Fred Brooks (included in the must-read book “Mythical Man-Month”) “No Silver Bullet — Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering”. Read the paper. Then read the panel’s transcript.

WikiWikiWeb: No Silver Bullet

Steve Jobs: “computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life”

“Quotes from Steve Jobs Lost Interview”:

“Learning to program teaches you how to think. Computer science is a liberal art.”

NPR.org: “Steve Jobs: ‘Computer Science Is A Liberal Art’”:

“In my perspective … science and computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life. It’s not something that should be relegated to 5 percent of the population over in the corner. It’s something that everybody should be exposed to and everyone should have mastery of to some extent, and that’s how we viewed computation and these computation devices”

Related:

“Steve Jobs Lost Interview”

YouTube: WGBH: “Steve Jobs 1990 Lost Interview Part 1″:

Reddit.com: “Want: a non-technical description of CS”

Programming, Math, and Computational Thinking: on education

Actually, this post will feature a few reads and resources for you that are part of a theme – the need to change K-12 education to face the realities of today and tomorrow, instead of preparing them for a world that has already turned. To do so will require children to gain a working understanding of the use of, and creation of, software. This is as important today as reading, writing and mathematics and it helps provide invaluable tools to build on, and strengthen, those foundational parts of children’s education.

Google Edu serves a terrific resource for educators and students that brings together many of these concepts – “Exploring Computational Thinking”. The lesson plan includes Python exercises that help illustrate computational thinking while strengthening math skills.

Why this is important

Over 10 years ago Lawrence Lessig exclaimed, “The Code Is the Law”, and in a series of articles, presentations, and an influential book spread the idea among the digerati, but interestingly enough, those outside of technology didn’t adopt the idea as a truism.

Douglas Rushkoff recently released his most recent book, “Programed or be Programmed” that took the concept further and declared a course of action for future educators.

Kevin Slavin: Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world:

YouTube: “TED: Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers”: