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While his talk was fabulous and he was wonderfully eloquent (at least at 2x speed), I was doing some background reading and apparently he is the father of the pop-up ad (gasp).

I had absolutely no idea about the Chinese web. The online currency, the Amazon equivalent having superior delivery: amazing. As he said, I anticipated some incomplete version of the U.S. web. Two of my close friends are from China and they visit their family frequently, but the only stories I’ve heard from them have been about poor connectivity and service blocks (they haven’t mentioned these equivalents; I suppose they’re not bridge figures).

In one of my previous posts, I talked about how the internet really is divided more than we, especially those who consider the “global village” term being accurate today, think it is. While in fact, we are very isolated in what and who we actually interact with. Zuckerman talks about how our international interaction is in fact shrinking! So this global village really seems like it was more relevant in the 60’s than it is right now. It’s very strange. As he says, while the possibilities of connection grow, because the domestic coverage grows cheaper at a faster rate (and probably due to the proliferation of data-driven analytics that may indicate that CTR are higher for domestic stories), publishers publish predominately domestic stories.

People, especially progressive companies, often say that diversity is important for productivity. They have data to back it up, and make hiring decisions to follow through. They often are referring to cultural diversity, as well as gender diversity, both of which many industries (especially tech) need to improve on. However, they often fail to explain or attempt to explain the mechanisms by which this diversity aids productivity, but Zuckerman seems to tackle it in this talk by explaining that this diversity (whether it be geographical, gender, cultural, etc.) is often correlated with cognitive diversity, and cognitive diversity is better for creativity and productivity.

People look “friendly” if they look like you. Long hair, have glasses, you’re always more likely to sit next to them.

A fantastic speaker as well, I liked that he started in the tech industry, tried to do something in Ghana, and then went into academia because the press didn’t care about Ghana.

Homophily: birds of a feather typically flock together. People cluster based on physical characteristics.

The good ideas within a company come from the people who are most connected in the company, the people who spend time in multiple offices, who are bridges between networks, etc.

Creativity and genius: just taking something ordinary, and putting it into a different setting, not being able to see the world in an entirely different way.