With Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson pairs the insight of his bestselling Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter and the dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World and The Invention of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America to address an urgent and universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.
Beginning with Charles Darwin’s first encounter with the teeming ecosystem of the coral reef and drawing connections to the intellectual hyperproductivity of modern megacities and to the instant success of YouTube, Johnson shows us that the question we need to ask is, What kind of environment fosters the development of good ideas? His answers are never less than revelatory, convincing, and inspiring as Johnson identifies the seven key principles to the genesis of such ideas, and traces them across time and disciplines.
Most exhilarating is Johnson’s conclusion that with today’s tools and environment, radical innovation is extraordinarily accessible to those who know how to cultivate it. Where Good Ideas Come From is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how to come up with tomorrow’s great ideas.
Related articles from other sources
- Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from [Greg Laden’s Blog] (scienceblogs.com)
- Where good ideas come from: Steven Johnson on TED.com (ted.com)
- Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson on Where Ideas Come From (wired.com)
- Where Do Good Ideas Come From: A Q&A With Steven Johnson (freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com)