Video: Chance Favors the Connected Mind

Steven Johnson provides a visually engaging answer to the age old question, Where do Good Ideas come from?

He posits that it is not the eureka moments, but the interconnections of hunches and mingling of ideas that lead to fascinating inventions. I had to watch this short, fast-paced video several times to appreciate the nuances and graphics. Hope you enjoy it too.

In this TED talk, Steve elaborates on the role of coffee houses during the age of enlightenment in Europe, and gives recent examples of how chance favors the connected mind. If you are game for a cup of coffee or chai let me know.

11 thoughts on “Video: Chance Favors the Connected Mind

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  1. Dear Arun -Connecting on your older post on
    The Farmer who toils–

    dt 19th Jan 2011.
    Namaskar Arun
    Liked your post very much.
    Thanks your excellent coverage of the Peanut Farmer.

    Today is Shakambari Poornima-
    the day of Divine Mother of Crops -Greens & Grains and like Annapoorni Mata.
    WE have to at last pay respect and remember the Kisan –
    see how we can help- and awaken those in indifference to Agriculture in India, but expect Food on Tables ready to eat!! —Fast Food??

    Dr Swaminathan in Chennai Foundation has been working on this -but we have a long way to go with Govt policy of going for just IT-Automobile- Techo &Industry at the cost of Agriculture badly neglected and at the mercy of Moneylenders et al .

    Other Industry are on priority-even Fashion clothing, as it is fact “Quick bucks”-and scans, shams abounding.

    Read also
    ‘Our freedom was born with hunger, we’re still not free’ –

    The Times of India

    DR Carver of USA “Peanut Carver”was featured in Readers Digest in 1969-great inspiring read-Now see that Peanuts in USA also have some haelth issue ??
    Whats happening Please see –

    1. Thank you Capt.

      I have replied to the original post here.

      May all celebrate the bounty on this Shakambari Poornima.

      Actually, near Badami is a small temple dedicated to “Devi Shakambari,” which I was fortunate to visit. Beautiful ancient temple.


  2. Thought provoking video Arun!

    I see what you mean about mulling over things on long runs. You must be very comfortable physically to be able to do that!
    I tend to do my mulling when I’m in bed and not tired enough to fall asleep rapidly.

    Daydreaming would be akin to this I suppose.

    1. Ha ha! Yes, I run marathons, so training requires a lot of solitary running. Friends say I took up distance running for this exact reason. But yes, a perfect time to turn over any problem along all its axes and reinterpret.

      day-dreaming certainly helps; I call it watching paint dry or the grass grow – very therapeutic!

      By the time I hit the bed, I am soooo tired, I couldn’t count till 5 before I go under.


  3. I have found the techniques of Edward de Bono to be very helpful for group brainstorming. The classic ‘coffee’ format often gets skewed in favor of the aggressive and expressive.

    Pages 14-16 of ‘Prarthana’ also contribute hugely to collective thinking. My professional Guru has said that Samanvay is the way forward.

    1. Hmmm, you make an interesting point regarding who gets heard. We do see that in our offices too – the louder, more articulate is heard more than the thoughtful, but quiet.

      Thank you for citing from Prarthana – amazing collective learning processes we had developed. What joy!


  4. Dear Arun
    Good post and I full agree on this Connectivity.
    Also seen in Synchronicity of Carl Jung-study.

    Have seen this so often happen in a search /study. Recently asked this to a senior Acharya and he said in the Creator’s -creation there is a Shiva Sankalpa…also stated as the divine plan- Also see suktam on Shiva Sankalpa.

    If we are observant of”Ourselves” & silently witness our -thoughts-emotions -words -actions-we see this happen .
    Many times we link onto a chain of ideas then in tandem to goals-


    1. Thank you TR for your thoughtful interpretation.

      I can see a parallel when I am doing long-runs and my minds ‘dwells’ on difficult problems and manages to come up with solutions. In that instance, I have a long time to ‘mull’ over a problem, which is similar to meditation.

      So, perhaps extending the thought further, you could either dive deeper or develop interconnections with others to solve a problem.

      Thank you for sharing this.

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