Eisner also held “charettes” — meetings with architects and theme park designers, whom he liked because they were “so brutally honest.” When developing movies and TV shows, he’d often hold meetings that lasted 10+ hours (“the longer, the better”).
Eventually everybody gets hungry, and tired, and angry, and eager to leave. But everybody also becomes equal. There is no pecking order. All of a sudden it gets really creative. You may have a ten-hour meeting, but it’s during the last half hour that the best ideas come out…Sometimes you have to be worn out and burnt out to become authentic and original.
“If I were given carte blanche to write about any topic I could, it would be about how much our ignorance, in general, shapes our lives in ways we do not know about. Put simply, people tend to do what they know and fail to do that which they have no conception of. In that way, ignorance profoundly channels the course we take in life. And unknown unknowns constitute a grand swath of everybody’s field of ignorance.”—The Anosognosic’s Dilemma (via Instapaper)
“Behavioral geneticists also find that the effect of upbringing on morals is quite superficial. Parents have a strong effect on which religion and political party their kids identify with, but little on their adult behavior or outlook. Some, but not all, twin and adoption studies find that parents have a modest effect on tobacco, alcohol and drug use, juvenile delinquency, and when daughters (but not sons) start having sex. The most meaningful fruit of parenting, however, is simply appreciation—the way your children perceive and remember you. When 1,400 older Swedish twins were asked to describe their parents, identical twins’ answers were only slightly more similar than fraternal twins’, and twins raised together gave much more similar answers than twins raised apart. If you create a loving and harmonious home for your children, they’ll probably remember it for as long as they live.”—The Case for Having More Kids (via Instapaper)
“But the greatest impact of an increasing-return wave comes long after the technology is invented. It comes when the technology is democratized. Gutenberg’s printing press took decades to generate the Reformation. Today’s container ships go not much faster than a 19th-century steamship, and today’s Internet sends each pulse little quicker than a 19th-century telegraph—but everybody is using them, not just the rich. Jets travel at the same speeds they did in the 1970s, but budget airlines are new.”—Ideas Having Sex (via Instapaper)
“I try to run participants during the first few weeks of a term when they’re plucky and ambitious, the sort of undergraduates who like to stay on top of things, who won’t try to fit all seven research hours in on the last possible day, who aren’t likely to rearrange the keyboard to spell [F][U][C][K] [ ] [T][H][I][S] or to accidentally “lock” themselves in the testing rooms by pulling at the doors instead of pushing. I run group after group, sometimes several groups at once, then go back to my desk to make sure that the data are going where they ought and that no software bug needs last-minute eradication. Then, once the numbers start looking funny, once the ceiling is judged by participants to be as likely to smile as the child and response times get painfully long—or impossibly short—I breathe a huge sigh and try to see what it is, exactly, that I’ve collected. If an experiment works, if the numbers look and smell and feel so gorgeously simple that I actually trust them, I’ll sit at my desk long after my adviser has left for home, after the postdocs and other graduate students have called it a day and the lab manager has shut down her computer. I’ll sit staring at those numbers as if they’re a message from somewhere so close I can feel its heat.”—They Get to Me (via Instapaper)
“According to Bernard Taper’s Balanchine, when the twenty-year-old was first summoned to meet with Diaghilev, the impresario asked if he could choreograph opera ballets “very fast.” Balanchine, who “had only made one opera ballet in his life,” said yes.”—Dogma & Diaghilev by Laura Jacobs - The New Criterion (via Instapaper)
But the TV depictions clash with reality, which shows that girls are just slightly more relationally aggressive than boys during late childhood and the early teen years. That difference disappears entirely by adulthood, according to past studies.
“Real research shows that boys are just as likely as girls to be relationally aggressive,” Coyne told LiveScience. “These TV shows are kind of perpetuating stereotypes.”
“And to encourage intellectual depth, don’t rail at PowerPoint or Google. It’s not as if habits of deep reflection, thorough research and rigorous reasoning ever came naturally to people. They must be acquired in special institutions, which we call universities, and maintained with constant upkeep, which we call analysis, criticism and debate. They are not granted by propping a heavy encyclopedia on your lap, nor are they taken away by efficient access to information on the Internet.”—Op-Ed Contributor - Mind Over Mass Media - NYTimes.com (via Instapaper)
“Critics of new media sometimes use science itself to press their case, citing research that shows how “experience can change the brain.” But cognitive neuroscientists roll their eyes at such talk. Yes, every time we learn a fact or skill the wiring of the brain changes; it’s not as if the information is stored in the pancreas. But the existence of neural plasticity does not mean the brain is a blob of clay pounded into shape by experience.”—Op-Ed Contributor - Mind Over Mass Media - NYTimes.com (via Instapaper)
“A proposed (and maybe obvious) fix to ease out-of-control folksonomies such as the above in FourSquare, would be to have parent/child venues; enable users to skip the silly, or to dive-in head-first when in a geographic area dense with many IRL venues. Likewise, it’d also be nice for users to just create “Peet’s Coffee” as a sub-venue of “Gate 86″ which is a sub-venue of “United Terminal” which is a sub-venue of “San Francisco International Airport - Domestic Departures” which is a sub-venue of “San Francisco International Airport.” Create two clear paths for users of the primary two mental models of FourSquare users to traverse: super-silly venue gaming path, or discovery-based finding other users path.”—Kicking Pebbles » Blog Archive » Folksonomy gaming, FTW!! (OMG) WTF!? #stoptheinsanity (via Instapaper)
“Food production in Africa is vastly less than the region’s known potential, and that is why so many millions are going hungry there. African farmers still use almost no fertilizer; only 4 percent of cropland has been improved with irrigation; and most of the continent’s cropped area is not planted with seeds improved through scientific plant breeding, so cereal yields are only a fraction of what they could be”—Attention Whole Foods Shoppers - By Robert Paarlberg | Foreign Policy (via Instapaper)
“In Europe and the United States, a new line of thinking has emerged in elite circles that opposes bringing improved seeds and fertilizers to traditional farmers and opposes linking those farmers more closely to international markets. Influential food writers, advocates, and celebrity restaurant owners are repeating the mantra that “sustainable food” in the future must be organic, local, and slow. But guess what: Rural Africa already has such a system, and it doesn’t work. Few smallholder farmers in Africa use any synthetic chemicals, so their food is de facto organic. High transportation costs force them to purchase and sell almost all of their food locally. And food preparation is painfully slow. The result is nothing to celebrate: average income levels of only $1 a day and a one-in-three chance of being malnourished.”—Attention Whole Foods Shoppers - By Robert Paarlberg | Foreign Policy (via Instapaper)
“As an imaginative writer publishing in the pulps, Lovecraft peopled this meaningless void with squishy monsters—monsters whose unmatchable and perpetually resonant originality must, I believe, be traced at least in part to the particularly secular dread that animates them. (Vampires and demon dogs belong to the ages; Yog-Sothoth, Shub-Niggurath, and Cthulhu are ours.)”—Cthulhu Is Not Cute | HiLobrow (via Instapaper)
Negative taste is the ability to tell when something is bad…People with negative taste can make things that look really nice, but they also look very plain…People with negative taste make things by trying something very simple and then stripping away pieces until it looks good. They can detect goodness, but not create it, so they’re limited to designs with very few variables, because then they can go through all the options and pick out the ones that look OK. […]
People with negative taste can recognize people with positive taste and hire them.
“People love me. Why? Because I’m fun. I’m the life of the party. I bring levity to any situation. Need to soften the blow of a harsh message about restroom etiquette? SLAM. There I am. Need to spice up the directions to your graduation party? WHAM. There again. Need to convey your fun-loving, approachable nature on your business’ website? SMACK. Like daffodils in motherfucking spring.”—Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: I’m Comic Sans, Asshole.
If the State establishes that a Miranda warning was given and that it was understood by the accused, an accused’s uncoerced statement establishes an implied waiver.
Had [the defendant] wanted to remain silent, he could have said nothing in response or unambiguously invoked his Miranda rights, ending the interrogation.
Any waiver, express or implied, may be contradicted by an invocation at any time, terminating further interrogation. When the suspect knows that Miranda rights can be invoked at any time, he or she can reassess his or her immediate and long-term interests as the interrogation progresses.
If an ambiguous act, omission, or statement could require police to end the interrogation, police would be required to make difficult decisions about an accused’s unclear intent and face the consequence of suppression “if they guess wrong.” Suppression of a voluntary confession in these circumstances would place a significant burden on society’s interest in prosecuting criminal activity. Treating an ambiguous or equivocal act, omission, or statement as an invocation of Miranda rights “might add marginally to Miranda’s goal of dispelling the compulsion inherent in custodial interrogation.” But “as Miranda holds, full comprehension of the rights to remain silent and request an attorney are sufficient to dispel whatever coercion is inherent in the interrogation process.” Thompkins did not say that he wanted to remain silent or that he did not want to talk with the police. Had he made either of these simple, unambiguous statements, he would have invoked his “‘right to cut off questioning.’” Here he did neither, so he did not invoke his right to remain silent.
In sum, a suspect who has received and understood the Miranda warnings, and has not invoked his Miranda rights, waives the right to remain silent by making an uncoerced statement to the police. Thompkins did not invoke his right to remain silent and stop the questioning. Understanding his rights in full, he waived his right to remain silent by making a voluntary statement to the police. The police, moreover, were not required to obtain a waiver of Thompkins’s right to remain silent before interrogating him.
From the dissenting opinion:
Thompkins’ claim for relief under AEDPA rests on the clearly established federal law of Miranda and Mosley. In Miranda, the Court concluded that “[i]f [an] individual indicates in any manner, at any time prior to or during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease… [A]ny statement taken after the person invokes his privilege cannot be other than the product of compulsion, subtle or otherwise.” In Mosley, the Court said that a “critical safeguard” of the right to remain silent is a suspect’s “‘right to cut off questioning.’” 423 U. S., at 103 (quoting Miranda, supra, at 474). Thus, “the admissibility of statements obtained after the person in custody has decided to remain silent depends under Miranda on whether his ‘right to cut off questioning’ was ‘scrupulously honored.’”
It sounds scary to say that one’s rights must be voluntarily invoked, but despite the headline summaries, that’s fortunately not exactly what this ruling is saying. This ruling is a good thing. The original Miranda language was way too broad—if the defendant indicated in any manner that they wished to remain silent at any time prior to or during questioning, his statements would be inadmissible. That means a lot of cases could be thrown out when folks were haggling over what an ‘indication’ could possibly be.
So in the future—keeping in mind the most important thing is that defendants know and understand their rights—potential defendants can either just keep their mouths shut, or remind cops that they DO have rights, and the cops have to stop questioning them immediately. Which, I think, makes a happier situation for everyone.
FWIW, this ruling totally turns Miranda on its head—see the quote from the dissenting opinion. If 2 1/2 hours of silence isn’t enough of an ‘indication,’ God knows what would be. Then again, that’s why I like this ruling so much: the dissenting argument ties itself into knots trying to point out that you have the right to remain silent and if you talk, that should just be ignored. Here’s an example:
The Court suggests Thompkins could have employed the “simple, unambiguous” means of saying “he wanted to remain silent” or “did not want to talk with the police.” But the Miranda warnings give no hint that a suspect should use those magic words, and there is little reason to believe police—who have ample incentives to avoid invocation—will provide such guidance. Conversely, the Court’s concern that police will face “difficult decisions about an accused’s unclear intent” and suffer the consequences of “‘guess[ing] wrong,’” is misplaced. If a suspect makes an ambiguous statement or engages in conduct that creates uncertainty about his intent to invoke his right, police can simply ask for clarification. It is hardly an unreasonable burden for police to ask a suspect, for instance, “Do you want to talk to us?” The majority in Davis itself approved of this approach as protecting suspects’ rights while “minimiz[ing] the chance of a confession [later] being suppressed.” Given this straightforward mechanism by which police can “scrupulously hono[r]” a suspect’s right to silence, today’s clear-statement rule can only be seen as accepting “as tolerable the certainty that some poorly expressed requests [to remain silent] will be disregarded,”, without any countervailing benefit.