Join us for IF @ Lunch

Seats are going fast for the January 27 Kentucky Center IF @ Lunch event! Join William Taylor, cofounder of Fast Company magazine, to discuss his new book "Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways To Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself."

The $12 registration covers lunch.


Falling Down the Clickhole

“Look after the senses and the sounds will look after themselves” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The Onion has launched Clickhole, a new site that targets pandering online media with the seriousness it deserves - by relentlessly mocking the just-so narratives, planted stories and malign headlines that characterize clickbait culture and the financial model that powers it.

Eyeballs! Give us eyeballs!

If You Don't Read The Onion's New Clickbait Parody Site, They'll Kill This Dog, Fast Company:

'For us, ClickHole is just another mirror we can hold up to society,' says [managing editor Ben] Berkley. 'There's a lot of this Internet content that's just so vapid and reductive--that's counter-productive to the greater good ... ClickHole is just a cool new medium for us to tell jokes through.'

The writer of the piece also cleverly asks what might happen if Clickhole were to succeed:

...It will be interesting to see what happens when readers get wise to the clickbait trap. Maybe Facebook's fickle algorithm decides to truly surface 'high-quality content,' as it has promised in the past. If the Internet were to ever reach a point where it stopped regurgitating dumb memes and insufferable headlines--as we should all hope it will--Clickhole will, with any luck, grow up alongside it. (Or at least as much as a parody website can.).... The hope is that ClickHole is something that can and will evolve.

I certainly have no idea what a grown-up Clickhole would look like, but the new venture has certainly picked a fat target now.

Stay curious.


Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by jackieleigh

Play is a Risky Study

It doesn't matter what you study—it matters how you study it - Michael Roth, Wesleyan president and author of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters

In that spirit, Virgin Unite asks if play is "a serious solution to economic and social challenges."

'It’s not about doing more earlier. It’s not about teaching them to read or write earlier and earlier. It’s actually about making sure they’ve got some of the underpinning skills on which so much of the rest of their life is going to be based,' said the LEGO Foundation’s global head of research and learning, Andrew Bollington, in a recent Google+ Hangout.

Those skills include creativity, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. Learning through play, Bollington said, is perhaps the most developmentally appropriate way for young children to develop those capacities: 'It’s the way children learn, and want to learn, and naturally learn, unless, frankly, you stop them.'

In a quote from her web site that I've never forgotten, real-world game designer and former IdeaFestival speaker Jane McGonigal said that "the opposite of play is not work, it's depression." I think that idea goes a long way toward explaining the discomfort people intuitively feel toward the the culture of test taking that now dominates the school year, an almost ritualistic doubling down on an educational process with roots in the 19th Century. The sad result is that many children are less able to take the information that they have learned in new and novel directions, to elaborate and expand, to twist and invert, to observe what they know from a slant. Rather, their work at accumulating facts produces the tortured expertise of fault finding, of one-upsmanship and unmasking error.

It doesn't matter what one knows if the known thing doesn't change what one does. That's why play and leisure, why the openness and vulnerability needed to turn mere information into knowing, is so important long after childhood. Play is a serious solution because without it, our hands and feet are never moved. Without it, we are never changed.

Stay curious.


Image: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by gagilas

Pic: Sunset on Mars

The sun setting over Gusev crater on Mars, snapped by the now-mired Spirit. Notice the smaller size of our star. Incredibly, you can follow the driver of Opportunity, Spirit's twin, @marsroverdriver on Twitter. Now that's a cool job! 


Image credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell

Janelle Monae - "When your heart is breaking"

Wow. Just wow. Thanks to Geoff Oliver Bugbee for this wonderful image of Janelle Monae in concert.

For many other pictures from the IdeaFestival, please visit our Flickr pool. It's open to your contributions.


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