Transcript for Music, Writing, and Creativity – Three Articles with Tim Proctor

Article 1: Music in Human Evolution by Kevin Simler
Kevin Simler breaks down Joseph Jordania’s theory on the evolutionary role of music. This strange theory feels eerily correct. It hits on so many provocative thoughts. Here are some: the hunter gatherers of our past were actually scavenger gatherers. To defend while scavenging for food, we developed an antipredator adaption of becoming more noticeable, instead of less noticeable. We used stone weapons to injure attackers. So predators started to notice, that if they wanted to go after us, they were gonna have a bad time. Dancing and singing were also part of this routine to intimidate. The battle trance created by these actions enforced our group identity in the minds of predators and ourselves. This made us more likely to help each other out. We also didn’t want predators to feed on our dead and develop an acquired taste for us. So, we used cannibalism, burial of the dead, and cremation to destroy our carcasses. 

Article 2: The Day You Became a Better Writer by Scott Adams
The Day You Became a Better Writer summarizes simple writing and takes less than a minute to read. Writing is about clarity and persuasion. Breaking up your writing with short sentences and paragraphs helps with this. Emphasize word choice and first sentences instead of length to engage your audience. Keep it short and simple!

Article 3: Early Amazon: Shopping Cart Recommendations
Greg Linden, a former Amazon engineer in the 90s, describes the origin of one of Amazon’s killer features, recommending similar items at checkout. Originally, he was told to not place it on the website. An exec was afraid it would ruin the simplicity of the shopping experience. So, Greg did it anyway. It was an immediate success,”.  Today, this feature is mimicked all over ecommerce. The lesson counters the traditional top-down, command and control management style. Innovation comes from the bottom. Those closest to the problem are in the best position to solve it. Creativity comes from anywhere, so get the fuck out of the way.”