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Imagine: How Creativity Works (2012)

by Jonah Lehrer

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1,0925516,832 (3.55)20
"New York Times"-bestselling author Lehrer ("How We Decide") introduces readers to musicians, graphic artists, poets, and bartenders to show how they can use science to be more imaginative and make their cities, their companies, and their culture more creative.

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» See also 20 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Alas, due to the author's intellectual dishonesty, I can't tell whether the book's brilliant, well-researched parts are false. Certainly, there is enough of the book that is clearly not well-researched and sensational to frustrate me. ( )
  BrentN | Jan 7, 2023 |
creativity ( )
  mgriel | May 11, 2022 |
“Imagine,” besides being a terrific John Lennon song, is a great book about creativity, insight, imagination and how we get and develop ideas. If you ever have had an “ah-ha” moment, if the solution to some problem you have been thinking about for some time suddenly comes to you or if you have come up with an idea that is new, original an exciting, this book explains how that happens in your brain, how the brain’s two hemispheres work together to solve problems and provide insight.
This book has to talk about the brain, parts of the brain and how the brain functions, but since it is written by a lay man instead of a scientist or professor, it is written so that anyone can understand it.
The book deals with all types of creative thought, both on a personal and individual basis, or a small group basis, in larger groups and communities and even in whole cities and nations. It tell how minds work together to create unique new ideas and how even bustling cities contribute to creative thought under the right circumstances.
Moreover, it gives guidance in how to put the tools it discusses to good use.
Sometimes I struggle to keep going with some books of non-fiction and sometimes I take far too long to read them, “attacking” them in small chunks over long periods of time. That was not the case with this book. It grabbed me from the start, used stories and anecdotal information to keep me going and fascinating me with its often counterintuitive research-based conclusions,
It is an interesting read and will leave any reader better informed and more able to use his/her own creative powers by applying ideas fro this book.
It is a “good read.” ( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |

This book moved to near profound to drab (oh-no, not another how Post-its were made story). I really like the message that free flowing ideas sparks creativity. I am disappointed that Jonah had fabricated quotes for his book.


I only found out about his resignation after reading the book. Would I still read the book? Yes, sure. Actually I read the book for work purposes (so I got paid to read the book), and though I love the working home 3 days a week, I wonder what I'm missing by not working in the office and having all these conversations in the office place where ideas could flow more naturally. By not drinking coffee, I don't have the water cooler / coffee pot talks. My job, most everyone's job in my position, has little collaboration.

Jonah did specifically point out Phoenix (my residence) as a city building model for LACK of creativity. Phoenix is certainly missing something. Is creativity what is missing? Phoenix has a reputation for allowing you to just live in a bubble of like-minded individuals. Sounds great! Sign me up. Well, there are drawbacks. Like-minded people don't really push each other to be better; they arrive at the same solution. It's the people unlike you .... the freaks ... the weirdos ... or just someone who has different experiences than you .... who collaborate with you and create something magical.
( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
Discarded unread after finding when a friend pointed out the plagiarism scandal around the book and the conduct of the author. ( )
  brakketh | Jun 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
The goal of “Imagine,” according to its subtitle, is to tell us “how creativity works” — to offer a scientific, mechanistic account of a seemingly ineffable phenomenon. And what distinguishes the scientific from other modes of thinking is not its technology, level of detail or even subject matter, but its ability to discover reliable cause-and-effect relationships. The clarity of physics and chemistry is rare in social science, but this is no license for presenting interesting speculations as settled truths.

The best way to think about “Imagine” is as a collection of interesting stories and studies to ponder and research further. Use it as a source of inspiration, but make your own careful choices about whether to believe what it says about the science of creativity.
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Hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing.
—T. S. Eliot, Introduction to Dante's Inferno
For Sarah and Rose
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"New York Times"-bestselling author Lehrer ("How We Decide") introduces readers to musicians, graphic artists, poets, and bartenders to show how they can use science to be more imaginative and make their cities, their companies, and their culture more creative.

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Note: Jonah Lehrer [...] was discovered to have routinely recycled his earlier work, plagiarised press releases, and misused quotes and facts. His third book, Imagine: How Creativity Works (2012), was the starting point of scrutiny, when quotes attributed to Bob Dylan were discovered to be fabrications. Jonah Lehrer in Wikipedia
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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