Monthly Archives: August 2011

Creativity is icky


Mary Catt in this Cornell press release summarizes “The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas”, a 2011 paper by Mueller, Melwani, & Goncalo. (abstract, full)

There is an unconscious bias against creativity and

while people explicitly claimed to desire creative ideas, they actually associated creative ideas with negative words such as “vomit,” “poison” and “agony.”

Slavery and the rise of the West


According to Eric Foner

Among the many virtues of Robin Blackburn’s The American Crucible is its demonstration that slavery must be at the center of any account of Western ascendancy. Without the colonization of the New World, Blackburn notes at the outset, the West as we know it would not exist, and without slavery there could have been no colonization. Between 1500 and 1820, African slaves constituted about 80 percent of those who crossed the Atlantic from east to west. More than any other institution, the slave plantation underpinned the extraordinary expansion of Western power and the region’s prosperity in relation to the rest of the world.