The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world

The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world


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The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world by David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt

The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world is a deep-dive into the creative mind, a celebration of the human spirit, and a vision of how humanity can improve our future by understanding and embracing our ability to innovate.

Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman rifle through the inventions of human society like paleontologists ransacking the fossil record. Exploring examples from Apollo 13 to Pablo Picasso, they seek to answer the question: what lies at the heart of humanity’s ability--and drive—to create?

If you took a snapshot of any animal species’ behavior, from apes to barnacles, and contrasted it with the same species 10,000 years ago, they’d all be carrying on pretty much as usual (and if they aren’t, it’s likely due to human influence). Humanity, on the other hand, would be nearly unrecognizable. Above all else, our drive to create is what makes us unique among all living things. Yet where does this all creation, innovation, and change come from? Why us? And if we better understand this “cognitive software”, can we harness it more responsibly to improve our lives, schools, businesses and institutions?

Brandt and Eagleman examine hundreds of examples of human creativity through dramatic storytelling and stunning images in this beautiful, full-color volume. By drawing out what creative acts have in common and viewing them through the lens of cutting-edge neuroscience, they uncover the essential elements of this critical human ability, and encourage a more creative future for all of us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936787524
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 10/10/2017
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 209,244
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Anthony Brandt is a composer and professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He is the Artistic Director of the contemporary music ensemble Musiqa, which won two Adventurous Programming Awards from Chamber Music America and ASCAP. Brandt has received a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer and the Houston Arts Alliance. He has co-authored papers on music cognition published in the journals Frontiers and Brain Connectivity. Brandt has written two chamber operas and works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, dance, theater, film, television and sound and art installations. He currently lives in Houston with his wife and children.

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and the New York Times bestselling author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, and Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, and the host of internationally broadcast PBS television series The Brain. Eagleman is a Guggenheim Fellow and was awarded the Society for Neuroscience Educator of the Year award. He is an adjunct professor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stanford University School of Medicine and the director of the Center for Science and Law, a national non-profit. Eagleman is also the editor for the Journal of Science and Law, the Journal of Vision, and PLOS One, and he serves on the board of directors for several organizations, including The Long Now Foundation. Eagleman’s writing has appeared New York Times, Discover Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, Wired, and other publications, and he regularly speaks on National Public Radio and BBC.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What do NASA and Picasso have in common? 1

Part I New Under the Sun

1 To innovate is human 13

2 The brain alters what it already knows 33

3 Bending 55

4 Breaking 74

5 Blending 91

6 Living in the B-hive 105

Part II The Creative Mentality

7 Don't glue down the pieces 133

8 Proliferate options 147

9 Scout to different distances 163

10 Tolerate risk 171

Part III Cultivating Creativity

11 The creative company 189

12 The creative school 215

13 Into the future 244

Acknowledgments 252

Image Credits 254

Bibliography 260

Notes 277

Index 286

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