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A Whole (Not So) New Mind December 8, 2009

Posted by Daniel Perl in A Whole New Mind, Uncategorized.
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I imagine that I would have gotten much more out of this book if I had read it in August when this class began, but tackling it in November after three months of a steady design thinking diet left me generally unimpressed. Maybe it’s the case that Pink’s ideas were so innovative and influential that they’ve been built upon and emulated by many of the other design thinkers we’ve read… but I’m biased towards the explanation that he’s aggregated the work of others without contributing too many groundbreaking insights of his own. Or maybe this class has done such a good job that all of this seems generally elementary.

For what it’s worth, Pink says that there are six key elements to R-Directed (Right-Brain) thinking: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning. I thought that the Story (importance of using compelling stories, especially metaphor and archetypes) and Symphony (ability to synthesize and manage complex elements) sections were the most compelling. One joke from the book for Symphony seemed to resonate with my group… the comedian Sid Caesar said, “The guy who invented the wheel, he was an idiot. But the guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.”

In sum, I think that this would be a good intro book for someone with little exposure to the concepts we discuss in this class… but for the rest of us I think it’s okay to skip it.

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