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How do you Spot Radical Novelty?

October 8, 2009

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Are the following incompatible?
1. Manufacturers and their sales force want the very "design of everyday things" to point to the way a product is to be used (Norman); consumers feel comfortable when they can slot a product into a familiar category.
2. Industries thrive on innovation, and radical innovation is a matter of "redomaining" (Brian Arthur), connecting a principle from one domain with a purpose from another.
4. People classify the same item into different categories depending on their experiences, the cues (priming) they encounter prior to classification... but
3. People also confabulate wildly to arrange contradictory, paradoxical, or just plain unfamiliar sensations into a coherent picture (Gazzaniga).

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