The Rise of the New Groupthink

An opinion piece for the New York Times by Susan Cain, talking about how research is suggesting the current trend of open-plan workspaces and constant group collaboration is inefficient and stifles creativity. Endless meetings and sub-par ideas pushed by extroverted individuals leads to poor company performance and poor employee quality of life. She also writes that the majority of true creative thinkers are introverts.

As always, I think there is a balance. Having an extra brain around is very helpful in a lot of situations, but after a certain point things become a competition of who can talk the loudest. In my experience any group larger than 3 will generally have someone excluded from the majority of the conversation.

In general I think working alone is better for fleshing out the main foundation of an idea, and group discussion is good when you want a sort of rapid-fire way of generating variations on the main idea.

Also, read the comments. A lot of people from the "creative industry" have submitted their thoughts. Some pretty insightful comments... most of them agreeing with the article.

This piece also featured some QUAL(ity) illustrations by Andy Rementer.

China-Portrait of a Country by 88 Chinese Photographers

So I'm going to try starting this new thing where I post an art/coffee table book from my humble collection. Maybe a novel or something might find its way in there from time to time.

I picked up this book today at Chapters for $10.50(!!!!) It was on sale down from $65. Crowfoot Chapters. Cop it while you can, cats. 2 Left. I as blown away that they still have copies left, as I've seen it sitting on the shelves for months. This thing is pretty big, a good 13.5" tall and 10" wide. 425 pages.

The photographs start at around 1949 and progress to the modern day. They are shot in a social documentary style, illustrating the life of ordinary Chinese. Apparently these types of photos were tough to find, because of a preference for landscape and portrait photography in Chinese culture and censorship by the government. Some photographers were fearful of releasing their photographs and the editor of the book had to meet them in their homes to reassure them.

Check out this title on Taschen's web site.

Documentary-CYBERPUNK (1990)

A pretty RAD documentary featuring sick GRAPHIXX from 1990. It deals with the emergence of the internet and hacker/computer culture and makes some predictions about what the future holds. Now I guess "held" would be a better word.

What Tim Leary said about democracy and people controlling the press and being able to "zap our messages around" was a pretty good prediction. Case in point being the use of social media in the Arab Spring.

Some other stuff like "data suits" never really took off. We can get by fine with screens and buttons for now.

"A must-see. Marianne Trench's campy, kinetic documentary about the cyberpunk phenomenon blends practical technological and medical hacks with philosophical forward-thinking about the often-cybernetically expanded boundaries of our humanness.

Learned commentary by luminaries like William Gibson and Timothy Leary is augmented by interviews with actual hackers and anonymous computer criminals, creating a composite essay about our increasingly internet-dependent experience that is as important today as it was in 1990 when the film was created.

The film examines actual drug-like technology designed to make the user "permanently smarter"; xeroxed zines and high tech fashion; cyberpunk music like Front 242, Manufacture, Severed Heads, and includes a discussion with Michael Balch of Frontline Assembly. Hilariously dated digital graphics meet still-relevant realizations about how we define our human experience as our abilities are continuously extended by technology."

via RW


Kind of a Black Sabbath-ish heavy metal hard rock type band from Norway. I thought the song had a good driving feel to it. Have a listen, won't cha?