Enigma: a movie recommendation

I watched the movie version of Robert Harris’ novel, Enigma, over the weekend and would recommend it to most. It’s basically a novelized account of the code-breaking work undertaken by the British at Bletchley Part during World War 2.

Assorted Links - IP, Religion, and foreign policy

Some recently found links:

The Bush-Eminem Connection

Richard Goldstein argues in the Village Voice for a connection between the success of Eminem’s “8 Mile” and the recent election victories for Bush. These two events may not seem related, but they both reflect the mainstreaming of ideas that seemed extreme just two years ago. Bush’s right-wing agenda and Eminem’s violent misogyny were once considered over the line. Now they have crossed over and become the line. Not that Em is a Republican (though he might favor ending the estate tax).

Mixing Motivations for Creativity

Renee Hopkins over at Ideaflow took my email to her and my last post on the topic of creativity even further than I expected. Thanks for the positive feedback Renee. Let it not be said that I am a theory snob or purest. I agree that most creative people work from a mixture of motivations - external and internal. The question I’m curious about is whether you can have a purely intrinsic or extrinsic motivation for creativity.

Motivation and Measurement for Creativity

Renee Hopkins, writing at Corante’s Ideaflow, posted two recent pieces on motivation for creativity. She compares two quotes, one from Teresa Amabile about the intrinsic motivation for creativity, the other from an article in Business 2.0 about measuring creative success through the market. The conclusion Renee reaches is that intrinsic motivation is not a universal condition for successful creativity. I disagree with this and I think the problem is a confusion between measuring and motivating creativity.

Moon Hoax Spoof

I ran across this delightful spoof of the moon hoaxers via Charlie Stross.

FCC prepares to change rules on media

In an interesting replay of the issue I mentioned here, the citizen versus the consumer, I came across this link summarizing proposed changes to the FCC regulations for media companies. Consider this quote: In a strange and twisted “déjà vu,” the FCC’s Notice points to policy findings made by the Reagan-era “marketplace-is-supreme” FCC as the foundation for its many current assumptions. Mark Fowler, Reagan’s first FCC chairman, is clearly the spiritual father of Michael Powell.

Why I'm not a Libertarian

One of my favorite parts of going to the Minnesota State Fair used to be visiting the Libertarian Party booth in the grandstand. My friends and I would take their political matrix test every year to see where we came out (see an example here). I came across this essay (Libertarianism Makes You Stupid) and post at Infothought. Remind me to visit whenever I start feeling like a libertarian.

Jared Diamond on Innovation

Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, has this to say about How to Get Rich. So what this suggests is that we can extract from human history a couple of principles. First, the principle that really isolated groups are at a disadvantage, because most groups get most of their ideas and innovations from the outside. Second, I also derive the principle of intermediate fragmentation: you don’t want excessive unity and you don’t want excessive fragmentation; instead, you want your human society or business to be broken up into a number of groups which compete with each other but which also maintain relatively free communication with each other.

More on the Muggles and Chris Mooney

I linked to a recent article by Chris Mooney about Harry Potter and Muggles a few days ago. Here’s some more items by Mooney and others: