When gluttonous inspiration, Guardian columnist Poole (Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How that Message Becomes Reality, 2006, etc.) writes, it’s not a bad abstraction to analyze through the clutter accession for second thoughts.
How does afflatus happen, and how can it be leveraged into reality? That catechism has nourished a beck of self-help, psychology, and business abstract on adroitness and its capture, including books such as Steven Johnson’s Where Acceptable Account Come From (2011) and Daniel Levitin’s The Organized Mind (2014). In this lightly written narrative, Poole looks at a cardinal of case studies that appearance how actionable new account are generally reiterations of old ones. For instance, the modern electric car draws on 150-year-old technology, while medical treatments using maggots and leeches amplitude aback hundreds of years. “The adventure of human understanding is not a gradual, august accession of facts, a smooth transition from benightedness to knowledge,” he writes. “It’s…a agrarian roller-coaster ride abounding of loops and switchbacks.” Those old account charge not alike be good ones, back alone analytical them can alert bigger ones, and of advance not all old account are good. In this respect, Poole conjures up the 19th-century craze for big-game hunting and again invites us to accede what happened to the dentist who afresh attempt a admired lion. Some of the author’s examples run a little long, as with his all-encompassing altercation of how placebo drugs came into being; still, his addendum of the placebo aftereffect into added realms is interesting, as are his musings on the political applications of old account such as basal assets and babyminding by aeon rather than able politicians. More than a abstract of anecdotes about the antecedents of the Tesla car or the alongside history of Viagra, Poole’s book is a jog on how to think, closing with exhortations to accomplish a little allowance for the cool and to “abandon common sense and bet adjoin the market.”
There’s not abundant that’s new here, but that’s the point. A modest, agreeable attending at the affliction and agriculture of creativity.
A brilliant and groundbreaking argument that innovation and progress are often achieved by revisiting and retooling ideas from the past rather than starting from scratch—from The Guardian columnist and contributor to The Atlantic.
Innovation is not always as innovative as it may seem. This is the story of how old ideas that were mocked or ignored for centuries are now storming back to the cutting edge of science and technology, informing the way we lead our lives. This is the story of Lamarck and the modern-day epigeneticist whose research vindicated his mocked 200-year-old theory of evolution; of the return of cavalry use in the war in Afghanistan; of Tesla’s bringing back the electric car; and of the cognitive scientists who made breakthroughs by turning to ancient Greek philosophy.
Drawing on examples from business to philosophy to science, Rethink shows what we can learn by revisiting old, discarded ideas and considering them from a novel perspective. From within all these rich anecdotes of overlooked ideas come good ones, helping us find new ways to think about ideas in our own time—from out-of-the-box proposals in the boardroom to grand projects for social and political change.
Armed with this picture of the surprising evolution of ideas and their triumphant second lives, Rethink helps you see the world differently. In the bestselling tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, Poole’s new approach to a familiar topic is fun, convincing, and brilliant—and offers a clear takeaway: if you want to affect the future, start by taking a look at the past.
Rethink: The Surprising History of New Ideas
- BookRethink: The Surprising History of New Ideas
- Author:Steven Poole
- Publishing Date:2016-11-15
- Number Of pages:352