“I think it’s very dangerous to focus on doing things right. I think it’s much more important to do the right things. If you do the right things adequately, that’s much more important than doing the wrong things beautifully. Doesn’t matter how well you polish the underside of the banister.”— Randy Pausch
“…and finally, while many clouds are shaped like animals, the sheep is the only animal that is shaped like a cloud.”—Tonight’s Letterman. I don’t watch latenight TV ever; this is the only funny thing I’ve heard this evening.
A recent brain scanning experiment by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that jazz musicians in the midst of improvisation - they were playing a specially designed keyboard in a brain scanner - showed dramatically reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex. It was only by “deactivating” this brain area that the musicians were able to spontaneously invent new melodies. The scientists compare this unwound state of mind with that of dreaming during REM sleep, meditation, and other creative pursuits, such as the composition of poetry. But it also resembles the thought process of a young child, albeit one with musical talent. Baudelaire was right: “Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will.”