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Creative Space, from Peopleware (3rd edition)
In response to workers’ gripes about noise, you can either treat the symptom or treat the cause. Treating the cause means choosing isolation in the form of noise barriers — walls and doors — and these cost money. Treating the symptom is much cheaper. When you install Muzak or some other form of pink noise, the disruptive noise is drowned out at small expense. You can save even more money by ignoring the problem altogether so that people have to resort to iPods and headphones to protect themselves from the noise. If you take either of these approaches, you should expect to incur an invisible penalty in one aspect of workers’ performance: They will be less creative.

During the 1960s, researchers at Cornell University conducted a series of tests on the effects of working with music. They polled a group of computer science students and divided the students into two groups, those who liked to have music in the background while they worked (studied) and those who did not. Then they put half of each group together in a silent room, and the other half of each group in a different room equipped with earphones and a musical selection. Participants in both rooms were given a programming problem to work out from specification. To no one’s surprise, participants in the two rooms performed about the same in speed and accuracy of programming. As any kid who does his arithmetic homework with the music on knows, the part of the brain required for arithmetic and related logic is unbothered by music — there’s another brain center that listens to the music.

The Cornell experiment, however, contained a hidden wild card. The specification required that an output data stream be formed through a series of manipulations on numbers in the input data stream. For example, participants had to shift each number two digits to the left and then divide by one hundred and so on, perhaps completing a dozen operations in total. Although the specification never said it, the net effect of all the operations was that each output number was necessarily equal to its input number. Some people realized this and others did not. Of those who figured it out, the overwhelming majority came from the quiet room.

Many of the everyday tasks performed by professional workers are done in the serial processing center of the left brain. Music will not interfere particularly with this work, since it’s the brain’s holistic right side that digests music. But not all of the work is centered in the left brain. There is that occasional breakthrough that makes you say “Ahah!” and steers you toward an ingenious bypass that may save months or years of work. The creative leap involves right-brain function. If the right brain is busy listening to “1,001 Strings” on Muzak, the opportunity for a creative leap is lost.

The creativity penalty exacted by the environment is insidious. Since creativity is a sometime thing anyway, we often don’t notice when there is less of it. People don’t have a quota for creative thoughts. The effect of reduced creativity is cumulative over a long period. The organization is less effective, people grind out the work without a spark of excitement, and the best people leave.
by:TomDeMarco  by:TimothyLister  OpenPlan  reference  work  autism 
3 hours ago by owenblacker
Stories of learning from … beautifully shared
TEDxDayton2018  Autism  from twitter
5 days ago by rickc57
Bang those drums | Drs. Oz and Roizen | Columns | ArcaMax Publishing
Playing the drums "helps children diagnosed with autism improve their motor control and enhances their powers of concentration and communication."

"According to a new study, autistic children who drum for 60 minutes a week experience vast improvement in dexterity, rhythm and overall timing, along with an improved ability to concentrate on their homework. The benefits don't stop there.

"Teachers told the researchers that their autistic students who played the drums also were better able to follow instructions and their social interactions and communication with peers, adults and the school staff improved significantly."
music  autism 
7 days ago by katherinestevens

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