Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘RSA Animate’

02 FEBRUARY, 2011

Bill Gates on Vaccines: An RSA Animation

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We’re big fans of The RSA and their wonderful sketchnote illustrations of big ideas by big thinkers. Despite the signature fun format, their latest installment deals with a very serious issue surrounded by a tragic amount of public misinformation: Vaccines. The 4-minute animation distills the gist of Bill Gates’ 24-page annual letter, which focuses on the Gates Foundation’s vaccination advocacy as well as their work in HIV/AIDS, malaria, agriculture and education.

I like to say that vaccines are miracles. They’re miracles because giving children a couple of drops or a shot in the arm can prevent some of the worst childhood diseases for a lifetime. And that, for me, is a miracle.” ~ Bill Gates

Polio cases are 99% down. There are only 4 countries in the world where polio's transmission has never been stopped: Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria. Vaccination has the power to make polio the second disease in the history of humanity, after small pox, to be fully eradicated.

For more on the subject of vaccines and misinformation, we highly recommend the excellent new book The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear — a bold debunking of the misguided anti-vaccine movement, rooted in equal parts science and social psychology to reveal how media sensationalism and PR-hungry health authorities are obscuring some of modern medicine’s greatest achievements to a dangerous effect.

via Tactical Philanthropy via @simonmainwaring

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21 OCTOBER, 2010

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity and Changing Educational Paradigms

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What’s not to love about RSA Animate? Here’s their animated adaptation of Sir Ken Robinson’s talk about changing educational paradigms, based on one of the best TED talks of all time, in which Sir Ken makes a compelling case for how schools are killing creativity:

We have a system of education that is modeled on the interest of industrialism and in the image of it. School are still pretty much organized on factory lines — ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects. We still educate children by batches. Why do we do that?”

With his signature soundbite-ready cadence and perfectly timed wit, Sir Ken — always the intellectual showman — once again manages to ruffle some academic feathers while raising some important questions. I’m particularly on board with his emphasis on the role of divergent thinking:

Divergent thinking isn’t the same thing as creativity. I define creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value. Divergent thinking isn’t a synonym but is an essential capacity for creativity. It’s the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question, lots of possible ways to interpret a question, to think laterally, to think not just in linear or convergent ways, to see multiple answers, not one.”

His most recent book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is an absolute must-read, wherever you may stand on education.

via Open Culture

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23 SEPTEMBER, 2010

Steven Johnson on Where Good Ideas Come From

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“Chance favors the connected mind.”

After their animated exploration of capitalism, the RSA are back with a visual distillation of one of the most important questions in creative culture: Where do good ideas come from? Steven Johnson tackles the grand question with insights from his latest book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, and a historical perspective on innovation throughout human civilization.

Johnson’s answer strongly echoes the Brain Pickings mission — to build a rich and wide-spanning pool of mental resources that serve as the building blocks of creativity.

That’s the real lesson: Chance favors the connected mind.” ~ Steven Johnson

Also worth watching: Johnson’s recent TED talk, one of our favorites this year:

Where Good Ideas Come From comes as a fine addition to these must-read books by TEDGlobal speakers.

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