Charles Darwin, Walter Isaacson, Cholera discussed on Amanpour



Walter Isaacson, how to grapple without biggest dilemmas whether their personal professional or civic issues effecting entire societies. Stupid. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Great to be here. So you've always written about creativity innovation now decision making. What is it that causes somebody to be creative? Well, that's been the great kind of mystery of my research over all these books is trying to trying to figure it out. I mean, I've written about so many different topics in over in about cholera and video games, and neuroscience and all these things, but as you say, there's a shared common thread that runs through the whole body work of weird of these transformative ideas, come from when the world changes because of some spark in someone's mind. How does it happen? You know, the biggest thing that that I feel is that our language for describing innovation is all wrong. And that we we have this incredibly rich set of metaphors to describe a moment of sudden inspiration lightbulb that a single person has the the lone genius has a flash of inspiration. I mean, just think of like you say like. Moment Eureka moment. A ha moment. Piffle like there's so many words for this phenomenon. And it's it's part of the story for sure, but the most transformative ideas, I think actually take a different form, and that they are much slower and kind of evolutionary in a sense. I call them slow hunches, right? They start with this feeling of something being interesting. You're not really sure why there's something's kind of playfully curious delightful for some reason and you're drawn to it. But you can't put your finger on it. And they stay in that state for really long periods of time. And it's often through a collaboration with someone else or through a network of people that what is only a fragment or a hunch in your own mind becomes something that is really usable or actionable in the world. So it's a combination of SoHo punches and networks instead of kind of loan geniuses and Eureka moments. How important is diversity to creativity? I think this is a really important thing to stress in this day and age which is. You think about we have the most diverse new incoming congress in in history in terms of gender in terms of age crucially, which is a big part of it. We when we celebrate things like that, we often are saying, you know, we like this because it's a sign of equality of opportunity, or it's a sign that group of leaders will be more tolerant. More Representative of of the country as a whole. But I think this is another point which is just from the science. We know they will make better choices. And that as a body they will be smarter. It's another argument against gerrymandering. Right. When you when you take these voting box and make them all of like minded, people you actually kind of reduced the collective IQ of that group, and they'll make worse voting decisions in the sense in your latest book farsighted, which is now out coming out. And paperback one of my favorite examples. I think is the beginning of your book, which is Charles Darwin deciding whether or not to marry. You know, I I came across this passage in Darwin's journals when I was writing where good ideas come from about innovation which had a whole long riff about Darwin's notebooks, Darwin kept these wonderful notebooks all of his life. But in their particularly interesting during the late eighteen thirties as he's coming up with the theory of natural selection because you can see this idea, maybe the most important scientific idea of the nineteenth century forming on the page, and he argues with himself, and he does all this things. So I I was I spent a lot of time reading through his journalist for that book. And from that research, I stumbled across this hilarious little kind of interruption in the middle of his journals where he takes time off from debating how natural selection came about and starts weighing this other question, which is should he get married, and he creates basically a pros and cons list on the side of against marrying..

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