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What Aristotle and Joshua Bell can teach us about persuasion

Imagine you are one of the world’s greatest violin players, and you decide to conduct an experiment: play inside a subway station and see if anyone stops to appreciate, when you are stripped of a concert hall and name recognition. Joshua Bell did this, and Conor Neill channels Aristotle to understand why the context mattered.

emergence in biology

A biological perspective of emergence (Video)

A short video exploring the properties of emergence in biology. Discussing how and why ‘irreducible’ or ‘unexpected’ properties arise out of a collection of more fundamental properties.


Hidalgo: Relationships between individual and collective knowledge

In this video Cesar Hidalgo at MIT asks intriguing questions about how social and economic systems interact. He sees networks as holding the knowledge and know-how necessary to ‘crystallise’ information into the things we use every day. The capacity of a network to hold this sort of knowledge and know-how is thus for him directly linked to economic activity. It helps explain how economic growth is variable and differs from place to place. It says that a theory of economics that doesn’t take into account the social complexity of society and its networks is incomplete. This 20 minute address at the RSA is a rapid tour through Cesar’s work. It is expanded in more depth in his book ‘Why information grows’. If you are exploring how social networks relate to economic activity this is well worth a look.

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The Self Organising System (animation)

What are the characteristics of a complex self-organising system that make it creative?
What can we learn from this about human creativity, both individual and collaborative?

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Knowledge and Knowing

This RSA film explores what it is to know, and the value of ignorance.

Any fool can find answers, people who can find new questions are the geniuses…