News & Perspectives

Now Labs publishes Fall Issue of Enter Magazine

Now Labs publishes Fall Issue of Enter Magazine

We're thrilled to offer you the second issue of Enter Magazine - All Stories Are True. All Stories Are Lies.
News// Posted by: Christine Mason / 7 Aug 2015

READ THE CURRENT ISSUE HERE

There is information coming at us all the time—so much of it that our brains are forced to gloss over thousands of things in our environment just to function on a day-to-day basis. This is a survival mechanism. The brain reasons that we need to pay attention primarily to the unknown: the novel stimuli that may present a danger or an opportunity to us.

Although immensely useful, this can stop us from seeing what’s present in the moment. Do you really see the details of the familiar road you drive down every day? Do you see your partner through an old lens, or as the person they’ve become? Are you such an industry insider that you miss threats from the outside?

Our brains try to make the new conform to the known. We project what we already know onto new environments and situations, overcoating reality with our own projections. There are risks in this: We may miss key insights, trends or opportunities. We may not hear what people are really saying, because we’re filling in the pauses with our own internal commentary. We may be antagonized at work or play because our life experiences have led us in different directions than our peers or partners. We might live our lives, and build our companies, based on stories that no longer serve us.

Stories provide a kind of cognitive shortcut, a shorthand communication tool that strips out unnecessary details and helps us learn, remember and make sense of things. They provide a great way for people to telegraph a vision (as the wonderful Michael Margolis discusses in his interview in this issue). Simultaneously, the deification of the sound bite, the attempt to simplify complex systems into graspable narratives, can lead to oversimplification, and just plain wrong understandings.

In fact, we often don’t even know we have wrong understandings — so deeply embedded are they. The Implicit Project, a long running study of precognitive bias, with over 1.5 million participants, highlights this: Even when we want to be non-prejudicial, in up to 70% of daily situations, our brains autonomically register a preference — racial, gender, weight, etc — that guides many of our conscious choices.

So how do we train ourselves, our teams and our organizations to identify and suspend our existing stories to make way for a new perception? How do we make space for innovation and new insights to take root? How do we recognize a slight rumbling from below that might signal an impending explosion?

We’re examining that question from multiple viewpoints this month. Writer Douglas Cruickshank explores the real stories behind breakthrough thinking, and how insights occur. Jessica Carew Kraft helps us explore how technology can let us know when the body is telling the truth. Author Kevin Ashton, who brought us “the Internet of Things,” implores a new, collective human story. And as always, our design section emphasizes emerging tech, and objects and art that blur our perceptual lines: Augmented reality, camouflage, illusion.

So, what’s your story?

 

To open, curious living,

Christine

Christine Mason
Christine maps new markets for emerging technologies, scouts for strategic expansion opportunities, and guides internal innovation strategies for leading companies.