New Philosopher - #22:TimeZan Boag  
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New Philosopher is for curious people seeking solutions to the fundamental problems faced by humankind. New Philosopher is devoted to exploring philosophical ideas from past and present thinkers on ways to live a more fulfilling life, and to seek to find solutions to the most pressing problems faced by humans in contemporary society.

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How Games Move Us (Playful Thinking): Emotion by DesignKatherine Isbister  
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An engaging examination of how video game design can create strong, positive emotional experiences for players, with examples from popular, indie, and art games.

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Creativity: The Perfect CrimePhilippe Petit  
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In the vein of The Creative Habit and The Artist’s Way, a manifesto on the creative process from a master of the impossible.
 
Since well before his epic (and illegal) 1974 walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, Philippe Petit had become an artist who answered first to the demands of his craft—and not just on the high wire, but also as a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, and writer. He was a rebel and an autodidact, cultivating the attitudes, resources, and techniques to tackle even seemingly impossible feats. His outlaw sensibility spawned a unique approach to the creative process—an approach he shares, with characteristic enthusiasm, irreverence, and originality, in Creativity: The Perfect Crime.

With the reader as his accomplice, Petit reveals fresh and unconventional ways of going about the artistic endeavor, from generating and shaping ideas to practicing, problem-solving, and ultimately pulling off the “coup” itself—executing a finished work. His strategies and insights will resonate with performers of every stripe (actors, musicians, dancers), practitioners of the non-performing arts (writers, artists), professionals in search of new ways of meeting challenges, and individuals simply engaged in the art of living creatively.

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Super Mario Bros. 3Alyse Knorr  
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Upon its 1990 NES release, Super Mario Bros. 3 flew in on the P-wings of critical raves, intense popular demand, and the most sophisticated marketing campaign Nintendo of America had ever attempted. Shigeru Miyamoto's ultimate 8-bit platformer lived up to all the hype and elevated Mario from mascot to icon. But what exactly made this game the phenomenon it was?

With the help of her friends and family, critics inside and outside the realm of gaming, and former Nintendo of America employees, Alyse Knorr traverses the Mushroom World looking for answers. Along the way, Knorr unearths SMB3's connections to theater and Japanese folklore, investigates her own princess-rescuing impulses, and examines how the game's animal costumes, themed worlds, tight controls, goofy enemies, and memorable music cohere in a game that solidified Mario's conquest of the NES era.

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SynesthesiaRichard E. Cytowic MD  
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An accessible, concise primer on the neurological trait of synesthesia―vividly felt sensory couplings―by a founder of the field.

One in twenty-three people carry the genes for the synesthesia. Not a disorder but a neurological trait―like perfect pitch―synesthesia creates vividly felt cross-sensory couplings. A synesthete might hear a voice and at the same time see it as a color or shape, taste its distinctive flavor, or feel it as a physical touch. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Richard Cytowic, the expert who returned synesthesia to mainstream science after decades of oblivion, offers a concise, accessible primer on this fascinating human experience.

Cytowic explains that synesthesia's most frequent manifestation is seeing days of the week as colored, followed by sensing letters, numerals, and punctuation marks in different hues even when printed in black. Other manifestations include tasting food in shapes, seeing music in moving colors, and mapping numbers and other sequences spatially. One synesthete declares, “Chocolate smells pink and sparkly”; another invents a dish (chicken, vanilla ice cream, and orange juice concentrate) that tastes intensely blue. Cytowic, who in the 1980s revived scientific interest in synesthesia, sees it now understood as a spectrum, an umbrella term that covers five clusters of outwardly felt couplings that can occur via several pathways. Yet synesthetic or not, each brain uniquely filters what it perceives. Cytowic reminds us that each individual's perspective on the world is thoroughly subjective.

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Reinventing Comics: The Evolution of an Art FormScott McCloud  
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In 1993, Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture with the acclaimed international hit Understanding Comics, a massive comic book that explored the inner workings of the worlds most misunderstood art form. Now, McCloud takes comics to the next level, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are created, read, and perceived today, and how they're poised to conquer the new millennium.

Part One of this fascinating and in-depth book includes:

The life of comics as an art form and as literatureThe battle for creators' rightsReinventing the business of comicsThe volatile and shifting public perceptions of comicsSexual and ethnic representation on comics

Then in Part Two, McCloud paints a breathtaking picture of comics' digital revolutions, including:

The intricacies of digital productionThe exploding world of online deliveryThe ultimate challenges of the infinite digital canvas

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See What I Mean: How to Use Comics to Communicate IdeasKevin Cheng  
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Comics are a unique way to communicate, using both image and text to effectively demonstrate time, function, and emotion. Just as vividly as they convey the feats of superheroes, comics tell stories of your users and your products. Comics can provide your organization with an exciting and effective alternative to slogging through requirements documents and long reports. In See What I Mean, Kevin Cheng, OK/Cancel founder/cartoonist and founder of Off Panel Productions, will teach you how you can use comics as a powerful communication tool without trained illustrators.

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Bill Evans: How My Heart SingsMr. Peter Pettinger, Peter Pettinger  
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This enthralling book is the first biography in English of Bill Evans, one of the most influential of all jazz pianists. Peter Pettinger, himself a concert pianist, describes Evans’s life (the personal tragedies and commercial successes), his musicmaking (technique, compositional methods, and approach to group playing), and his legacy. The book also includes a full discography and dozens of photographs.

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The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet AnimatorsRichard Williams  
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The definitive book on animation, from the Academy Award-winning animator behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Animation is one of the hottest areas of filmmaking today—and the master animator who bridges the old generation and the new is Richard Williams. During his fifty years in the business, Williams has been one of the true innovators, winning three Academy Awards and serving as the link between Disney's golden age of animation by hand and the new computer animation exemplified by Toy Story.

Perhaps even more important, though, has been his dedication in passing along his knowledge to a new generation of animators so that they in turn could push the medium in new directions. In this book, based on his sold-out master classes in the United States and across Europe, Williams provides the underlying principles of animation that every animator—from beginner to expert, classic animator to computer animation whiz —needs. Urging his readers to "invent but be believable," he illustrates his points with hundreds of drawings, distilling the secrets of the masters into a working system in order to create a book that will become the standard work on all forms of animation for professionals, students, and fans.

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Envisioning InformationEdward R. Tufte  
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This book celebrates escapes from the flatlands of both paper and computer screen, showing superb displays of high-dimensional complex data. The most design-oriented of Edward Tufte's books, Envisioning Information shows maps, charts, scientific presentations, diagrams, computer interfaces, statistical graphics and tables, stereo photographs, guidebooks, courtroom exhibits, timetables, use of color, a pop-up, and many other wonderful displays of information. The book provides practical advice about how to explain complex material by visual means, with extraordinary examples to illustrate the fundamental principles of information displays. Topics include escaping flatland, color and information, micro/macro designs, layering and separation, small multiples, and narratives. Winner of 17 awards for design and content. 400 illustrations with exquisite 6- to 12-color printing throughout. Highest quality design and production.

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Make It New: A History of Silicon Valley DesignBarry M. Katz  
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The role of design in the formation of the Silicon Valley ecosystem of innovation.

California's Silicon Valley is home to the greatest concentration of designers in the world: corporate design offices at flagship technology companies and volunteers at nonprofit NGOs; global design consultancies and boutique studios; research laboratories and academic design programs. Together they form the interconnected network that is Silicon Valley. Apple products are famously “Designed in California,” but, as Barry Katz shows in this first-ever, extensively illustrated history, the role of design in Silicon Valley began decades before Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak dreamed up Apple in a garage.

Offering a thoroughly original view of the subject, Katz tells how design helped transform Silicon Valley into the most powerful engine of innovation in the world. From Hewlett-Packard and Ampex in the 1950s to Google and Facebook today, design has provided the bridge between research and development, art and engineering, technical performance and human behavior. Katz traces the origins of all of the leading consultancies―including IDEO, frog, and Lunar―and shows the process by which some of the world's most influential companies came to place design at the center of their business strategies. At the same time, universities, foundations, and even governments have learned to apply “design thinking” to their missions. Drawing on unprecedented access to a vast array of primary sources and interviews with nearly every influential design leader―including Douglas Engelbart, Steve Jobs, and Don Norman―Katz reveals design to be the missing link in Silicon Valley's ecosystem of innovation.

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How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It HappensBenedict Carey  
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In the tradition of The Power of Habit and Thinking, Fast and Slow comes a practical, playful, and endlessly fascinating guide to what we really know about learning and memory today—and how we can apply it to our own lives.

From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We’re told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital.

But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong? And what if there was a way to achieve more with less effort?

In How We Learn, award-winning science reporter Benedict Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information. What he discovers is that, from the moment we are born, we are all learning quickly, efficiently, and automatically; but in our zeal to systematize the process we have ignored valuable, naturally enjoyable learning tools like forgetting, sleeping, and daydreaming. Is a dedicated desk in a quiet room really the best way to study? Can altering your routine improve your recall? Are there times when distraction is good? Is repetition necessary? Carey’s search for answers to these questions yields a wealth of strategies that make learning more a part of our everyday lives—and less of a chore.

By road testing many of the counterintuitive techniques described in this book, Carey shows how we can flex the neural muscles that make deep learning possible. Along the way he reveals why teachers should give final exams on the first day of class, why it’s wise to interleave subjects and concepts when learning any new skill, and when it’s smarter to stay up late prepping for that presentation than to rise early for one last cram session. And if this requires some suspension of disbelief, that’s because the research defies what we’ve been told, throughout our lives, about how best to learn.

The brain is not like a muscle, at least not in any straightforward sense. It is something else altogether, sensitive to mood, to timing, to circadian rhythms, as well as to location and environment. It doesn’t take orders well, to put it mildly. If the brain is a learning machine, then it is an eccentric one. In How We Learn, Benedict Carey shows us how to exploit its quirks to our advantage.

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Harmonia: Glitch, Movies and Visual MusicMichael Betancourt  
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Harmonia, "harmonies," analyzes the connections between glitch art, visual music, abstraction, and motion pictures. It is a theory and a critique of visual music.
This collection is a chronological survey of artistic research into, around, and with digital motion pictures. The result unveils a theory of both visual music and abstraction, one that is directly connected to a critical engagement with the socio-cultural meaning of "visionary art" that builds on thework of Umberto Eco and Michel Foucault to engage with the historical films of John Whitney, Mary Ellen Bute, Mary Hallock-Greenewalt, and Stan Brakhage (among others) connecting them with contemporary glitch movies. Included in this collection is Betancourt's taxonomy of abstract forms based on synaesthesia, a discussion of the historical foundations and connections between color music/color organs, synaesthesia and the visual music instruments and films of the twentieth century, and an analysis of the fundamental connections between visual music and realism that reveals an ideological reification created by the synchronization of sound and image. This analysis goes beyond a historical recounting of artists and their works to propose an understanding of synaesthetic media in aesthetic as well as critical, ideological terms.Included are the essays "The Aura of the Digital," "The Invention of Glitch Video," and "Welcome to Cyberia" along with many other talks, publications, and analyses of glitch art and visual music, surveying glitch art pioneer Michael Betancourt's critical/theoretical engagements with these art forms.

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How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical MethodG. Polya  
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A perennial bestseller by eminent mathematician G. Polya, How to Solve It will show anyone in any field how to think straight. In lucid and appealing prose, Polya reveals how the mathematical method of demonstrating a proof or finding an unknown can be of help in attacking any problem that can be "reasoned" out―from building a bridge to winning a game of anagrams. Generations of readers have relished Polya's deft―indeed, brilliant―instructions on stripping away irrelevancies and going straight to the heart of the problem.

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