Habits kill creativity

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Breaking habitual experiences propels creative processes. Countless people have interrupted their daily routines or completely reinvented themselves outside the familiarity of their homelands. Many of America’s most celebrated writers, artists and musicians lived in foreign countries, such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Josephine Baker. These famous American expatriates submerged themselves in a strange collection of demographics, economics, political standards, legal procedures, social trends and unfamiliar traditions. Thomas Stearns Eliot, an American-born British poet, is arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century (Collins, 2009). Eliot became a British citizen at 39, while creating some of the best-known poems. When asked whether his works had a connection with his American past, Eliot said:

Yes, but I couldn’t put it any more definitely than that, you see. It wouldn’t be what it is, and I imagine it wouldn’t be so good; putting it as modestly as I can, it wouldn’t be what it is if I’d been born in England, and it wouldn’t be what it is if I’d stayed in America. It’s a combination of things (emphasis added). But in its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America. (Hall, 1959)

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Can Social Media Spread Democracy?

Social media is changing the way we learn about our world. The Internet-based communication networks are promoting freedom of speech. People are no longer passive readers, but rather engaging in news as a conversation on an international stage. Local and global societies are instantly collaborating, contributing, interpreting and interacting. The World Wide Web allows citizens to take ownership of public policy by reacting to issues that affect them. This literature reviews participation statistics, cultural implications and propaganda concerns as communities decentralize media and strive to democratize information online. Continue reading

Military-First Web Publishing

Department of Defense officials are consistently undecided about embracing the latest Web technology. Proponents mention its strengths in supporting public affairs, recruiting efforts and family readiness, while protesters cite issues with operations and network security, as well as bandwidth drain. It’s the position of this author that military Web-first publishing leads to greater benefits than risks. This report combines public opinion research, open-source government information, Internet use surveys, newspaper circulation statistics and experience in Army external information programs. This report does not offer official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. government. Continue reading