“A forest is much more than what you see… Underground there is this other world — a world of infinite biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate and allow the forest to behave as though it’s a single organism. It might remind you of a sort of intelligence.” says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.

Find more great resources on trees at Brain Pickings.

Read about the must-read book The Hidden Life Of Trees.

0_Quotes_Communication

Enjoy this collection of quotes on communication.

“Art is communication.” ― Madeleine L’Engle

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“The first ingredient in conversation is truth: the next good sense; the third, good humor; and the fourth wit.” – Sir William Temple

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” – Rollo May

“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives” – Anthony Robbins

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

Read more

It helps you to both better understand and to more effectively communicate the nature of your influences if you take the time to state it simply. Usually, this doesn’t just happen instantly. First, it takes identifying who or what the influence is. Next, it takes a series of thoughts and associations. Then, it takes a little organization. Finally, it takes a little editing; cutting the words that aren’t quite right and searching for the ones that are.

Very often the connections between ideas and feelings and their progressions aren’t clear until you start organizing them. Finding these insights is the biggest benefit of taking time to reflect on your influences. (To do this, nothing helps me more than writing. Often, it’s not the kind of writing that I might share publicly; sometimes notes, outlines, and unfinished sentences are more effective. The goal of this kind of writing is discovery and clarity not publication.)

When you’re exploring your influences ask yourself questions. Questions guide explorations away from unprofitable areas and into useful territories. Questions reenergize and sustain processes of discovery. Ask yourself a few of these questions. What is the root of the influence? Is it physical? Is it intellectual? Is it emotional? If it’s many things at once, what is and what is the relative weight of each of those things? Does one influence share elements or qualities with other influences?

Try to state the nature of an influence in one sentence.

And try to state the nature of an influence in one phrase or one word.

Simplicity has many advantages. For instance, simple things are easier to remember and easier to share. Never confuse simple-mindedness with simplicity. Simplicity often represents the height of sophistication, arrived at only after some if not considerable effort and practice. If you can present a complex subject in a simple way without sacrificing essential content, you truly understand it. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why simple solutions are so elegant.

At first it might seem strange to generate a lot of information only to boil it down to a little but if you try it you’ll find that the insights you’re left with will be extremely concentrated. Writers, musicians, and photographers all do this at one or more points in their creative process. Try it when you consider your influences. You’ll understand them better – and your own works too.

Here’s a simple distillation of one of my influences stated in one sentence and one word.

Joel Peter Witkin explores taboo, which sensationally gives a rise that quickly fades, and darkness (not necessarily evil), which disturbs and awakens indefinitely.

Shock

Read Why Tracking Your Influences Is So Important here.

Read Ranking Your Influences here.

Find out more about my influences here.

 

Made To Stick

February 3, 2010 | 1 Comment |

madetostick

Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick is must read material for any communicator – artist, businessperson, social advocate, politician, partner, parent … well, anyone really. Made To Stick will give you a proven formula for making any message more memorable and effective.

SUCCESs their simple formula.

Simple
Unexpected
Concrete
Credible
Emotional
Stories

That’s the key take-away from the book but it’s richly elaborated with hundreds of great stories about how SUCCESs is put into practice.

I give this book my highest recommendation.

Find the book here.
Find out more about the book and free online resources here.


We live in interesting times! This web stuff is fascinating. I think of it as humanity collectively wiring up a new external communal neural network and learning/inventing new ways of social interaction. Professor Walsh, a cultural anthropologist, with little more than text graphics, gets this point across brilliantly in this simple video (4:33), which over 5,700,000 viewers have watched.

You can hear his thoughts on the creation of the video in this video (9:58).

Check out what the web lets me do …

Oh! Wait! You’re already here!

So, keep looking throughout the rest of my website!

Images, text, audio, video, interviews, philosophy, technique, news, and much more.

What does the web do for you? Comment here!


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