Posts Tagged ‘books’

Release Creativity by Exposing Yourself to Contrary Views

January 22, 2010

I find that exposing myself to a wide variety of viewpoints is a great practice as a creative person. The way the world is now, many people tend to seek out information resources that reinforce their own ideas.

Usually, sticking with the familiar just results in everyday closed-mindedness. But at its worst, it can result in extremism and hatred.

Even though my world-view is very different from that of author Barbara Ehrenreich, I like to read her books, as she is very good at zeroing in on things that are wrong with the world. I recently finished her book Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America — a highly-recommended expose.

Recently I also read in immediate succession two writers with very different politics and found that their views converged in one very surprising way — see “Social Critics on Social Darwinism: How Rushkoff and Wiker Converge” for a dual review of Life Inc. — How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back, by media critic Douglas Rushkoff and 10 Books That Screwed Up the World — and 5 Others That Didn’t Help, by theologian Benjamin Wiker.

I also think documentary films are a fruitful area for encountering contrarian views — see my post “Some documentaries that make you think.

AB — 22 January 2010

Best bookmarking tools (for actual books)

September 18, 2009

My favorite bookmarking tool has become the 3M Post-It Arrow Flag, rather than the traditional bookmark.

Nowadays, I only use a traditional bookmark for the book I keep by my bedside, which always stays there and never gets rough duty.

For all other uses, the Arrow Flag can’t be beat, as it stays in place and can be used to mark the exact sentence or paragraph where you left off. And it is more versatile. For example, it can be used on a stapled printout, whereas a regular bookmark would be useless in such a situation.

Arrow flag - best bookmark at workThe Arrow Flags don’t last forever, as they eventually lose their stickiness — but they do last a good long while, and you get 96 of them in a package.

If you’re looking for a little more style, you might try the copper Page Dart. At about $5.00 for 12 of them, they’re more expensive than the sticky-arrows, but they’re quite elegant and stay in place on the page as well.

AB — 18 Sept. 2009