Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Bohemians Not Getting Lost in the Rabbit Hole

Dome Improvement: "Pop quiz: What's behind the surprising rise in IQ? (Hint: Stop reading the great authors and start playing Grand Theft Auto.) By Steven Johnson from Wired magazine."

This may very well be largest second step in the history of ambitious short people - the first was more symbolic of a child trying to walk in a pair of his father's boots for the first time. It was in this Mother Jones article that my infant foot first stepped. The article reviews Steven Johnson's book, Everything Bad is Good for You, about why Americans are getting smarter, more intelligent despite seeing standardized test scores, such as the SAT and ACT, dropping.

I'm breaking this post down into different angles and will be posting to my alternate/media-specific blogs (Flat Screen Reflections), but some general statements and personal background should be included as a sort of prologue.

First, I'm a Bohemian. Initially, I claimed this title because my roots are, in fact Bohemian - meaning from the Bohemian kingdom in the now-Czech Republic. My father was also proud of the distinction and used to joke that his sometimes-frugal behavior could be attributed to his heritage. Then, a few years ago, I bought Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge and was formally introduced to the term's second meaning; one that explained or justified my creative/artistic urge to write. I've become addicted to the lifestyle and proud of the label - I've read a wide array of books (Among the Bohemians, The Book of Absinthe, and The Picture of Dorian Gray) to get a better feel for the sub-culture - but still aspire to be a successful, productive member of society rather than someone so completely absorbed with my own art and creativity that I cannot see the art of everyday living by everyday people. Because, the truth is, art has changed.

An artist is no longer just a painter or a writer, but with the advent of the internet and other technologies, artists can be computer programmers, car designers, and architects. And it is around individuals like these that major cities continue to grow. There's more to this - see this article and read his books.

Where was I going with all this? - Use your left brain to think and your right brain to do. We as a society are beginning to utilize the strengths of both halves in conjuction with the other, not necessarily out of a desire to do so, but as a way to keep up and compete with the rest of the world. We are witnessing another phase of evolution.


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