Time is finite. Social media and Netflix can all too easily swallow our precious hours. So why not put them to better use on YouTube? Beyond the music, virals and gaming videos, YouTube has many great channels that can teach anyone practically anything.
Here are the sharpest brains. Press play and become smarter!
Spark your curiosity
Vsauce — Amazing answers to questions about our world
In a Nutshell — Animations that make learning beautiful
C. G. P. Grey — Entertaining explanations of politics, geography and culture
Crash Course — Bite-sized science and learning across many subjects
Scishow — Indispensable science news, history and concepts
HowStuffWorks — Your daily curiosity dose that explains the world
Brit Lab — Smart-ass ammunition that’s guaranteed to astound
THNKR — People, stories and ideas that change perspectives
Experiment with the sciences
MinutePhysics — Simple explanations of physics and other sciences
MinuteEarth — Science and stories about our awesome planet
Veritasium — Science and engineering videos by Derek Muller
Numberphile — Maths Mecca that sums up all things numerical
SmarterEveryDay — Exploring the world of science with Destin Sandlin
Periodic Videos — Videos of each element and other chemistry stuff
Sixty Symbols — A physics and astronomy cornucopia of cool
AsapSCIENCE — Weekly doses of fun and intriguing science clips
It’s Okay To Be Smart — We agree!
PatrickJMT — Straight-to-the-point maths know-how
Bozeman Science — A popular high school teacher explains science
Connect with technology
Computerphile — An array of computing and tech videos
The Game Theorists — Over-analysing video games
Extra Credits — Video game design to start your developer career
The New Boston — Tons of great web development tutorials
Expand your mind
The School of Life — Ideas for life through many lenses
BrainCraft — Weekly videos on psychology and neuroscience
Wisecrack — Learn your ass off with witty sketches
PBS Idea Channel — A cultural critique of pop, technology and art
Philosophy Tube — Oliver Lennard “gives away a philosophy degree”
Inspire your creativity
Mark Crilley — How-to-draw videos on almost every topic you can imagine
Draw With Jazza — Tutorials on all forms of visual expression
JustinGuitar — Guitar courses for various styles, techniques and abilities
HDpiano — Learn to play the piano with easy to follow tutorials
Every Frame a Painting — Top-notch and truly fascinating analysis of film
Photo Exposed — Photography tips, techniques and tutorials
The Art Assignment — Artist talks and challenging assignments for yourself
Film Riot — A how-to trip through all aspects of film making
Avoid burning your house down
Grant Thompson — Caution advised with these experiments and life hacks
Crazy Russian Hacker — The daddy of all science experiment channels
Get closer to nature
Earth Unplugged — BBC-produced channel about the natural world
BBC Earth — Jump in and meet your planet
The Brain Scoop — A private tour of The Field Museum in Chicago
Roll with the big boys
ouLearn — The Open University’s rich and engaging learning channel
The RSA — The Royal Society of Arts sets new standards in its field
TED Talks — No list would be complete without TED’s main collection
TED-Ed — Carefully curated and crafted educational videos and animations
Smithsonian — The mighty institution explores the grand questions
Big Think — Exploring big ideas that define knowledge in the 21st century
The Royal Institution — Films and lectures about the natural world
Gresham College — Liberally delivering knowledge through top lectures
Access the archives
British Pathé — Famous newsreels shown within carefully chosen topics
ITN Source — One of the largest historic collections of news footage
AP Archive — The Associated Press, the world’s largest and oldest agency
Nurture the youngsters
Crash Course Kids —For 5th grade scientists, engineers and astronomers
SciShow Kids — Experiments, experts and answers for kids aged 8 to 88
HooplaKidz — Arts and crafts for little ’uns
Dose up on medicine
Sexplanations — Honest answers about sexuality by Lindsey Doe
Healthcare Triage — Answering questions about medicine and healthcare
Kenhub — An engaging and different way to learn human anatomy
Enjoy the unusual
Vi Hart — A “recreational mathemusician” like no other
ElectroBOOM — Successfully discovering the craziness in engineering
These channels have been chosen based on a range of factors, such as production value, impact, quality, variety and quantity. In many categories, great channels and incredible niches have been left out, but such is the burden of any editor. See the entire list of 134 nominees here.
If you find this list helpful, please recommend it so that others can benefit!
The Formula 1 season will begin later this month, pitting the most talented drivers in the most finely honed machines against one another.
The image of a car designer sitting at a computer, working on a complex 3D visualization, is consistent with our perception of a ‘creative person’, but you may not immediately think about the act of driving a Formula 1 car as a creative process.
In fact, drivers are continuously finding inspired ways to take full advantage of every opportunity provided by their car, the conditions and their competitors. The world of Formula 1 represents a fascinating laboratory for exploring human creativity through drivers and their teams.
We can think about human creativity in the context of four components:
Components of creativity
The creative person
I was speaking to a colleague recently about the Finnish Formula 1 driver Kimi Räikkönen. We were reflecting on reports of the 2007 World Champion’s exceptional ability to ‘conceptualise three-dimensional space.’ Theoretically, if a driver can simulate a race circuit in their brain in ‘higher-definition’ than another driver, they can imagine more possible scenarios, and take advantage of them.
Kimi has demonstrated a creative approach to his driving from a young age. There is a legendary story from his days racing karts as a youngster. One race weekend in Monaco, Kimi’s kart was knocked over the barrier in a collision. The kart ended up completely off the circuit. The barrier was much too high, and the kart much too heavy, to lift it back over. Undeterred, Kimi continued driving alongside the circuit, on the wrong side of the barrier, until he ran out of road. At this point, Kimi was able to lift the kart onto the track. Kimi jumped back into his kart and worked his way through the pack, eventually finishing third.
Creativity in knowledge work
Creativity is vital in racing, for teams and for drivers, and it’s becoming increasingly important in the context of knowledge work.
Where the goal of work was once to extract the maximum amount of physical energy from a worker, and transform it into a tangible product, most knowledge work completely disrupts this equation. Knowledge work organisations transform mental energy into ideas and insights – something that will become even more critical as automation replaces many repeatable, process-based tasks.
Last year, the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs’ report identified complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity as the top three skills required to thrive in the 4th industrial revolution. Both complex problem solving and critical thinking require imagination, innovation and the ability to perceive multiple perspectives. Arguably, this makes creativity the foundation for the ‘podium of future skills’.
Efficient, productivity-orientated tasks are easy to reproduce by another human, or even a machine. Creativity is rare. Creativity is the antidote to the poison of efficiency over effectiveness. It’s the solution to sending endless e-mails and making meaningless presentations, because it allows us to perceive the new opportunities that are unfolding in front of us. While the specific factors that provide the optimal circumstances for creativity are debated, a brute force approach, based on clocking the hours, is not amongst them.
All humans have the capacity to be creative
All humans have the capacity to be creative and many of us could unlock more of our creative potential with the right process and conditions. I have heard many people label themselves as “not very creative” but creativity can be expressed in many different ways. For example, creativity may manifest itself as we think of solutions to challenging situations at work, or resolve conflicts, rather than being defined as a tangible creative output.
Previously, it’s been assumed that creativity declines with age. However, in domains that draw on knowledge and expertise, such as writing, philosophy and medicine, research suggests that creative achievement can peak in the early 40s, and declines at a relatively slow rate.
The creative process
Contrary to popular belief, providing someone with a blank slate does not appear to optimise the creative process. Unbounded choice and opportunity can quickly overwhelm the limited resources of attention, executive function and working memory.
We crave new information and we are rewarded for searching out novelty. In the digital age we have access to a fire hose of content to titillate the reward centres of our brain, but if we don’t have rules and boundaries in place, we can easily become distracted and create little real value.
Creativity thrives when there is some pressure and limitation, but not too much. We could plot the creative process as an inverted-U.
A hospitable environment for innovation
Too much time pressure impairs creative cognitive processing, but some pressure can fuel our creativity. Eliminating pressure entirely can suffocate the creative process and create an inhospitable environment for innovation.
Our response to pressure is individual; some people thrive when their backs are against the wall; others prefer a more relaxed approach. For certain individuals, a prize can drive them to produce their most innovative work; others are more motivated by intrinsic rewards. For most of us, it is a combination of the two.
Conditions for creativity
Creativity thrives in three conditions:
1. When we apply and combine old ideas in new ways.
Boundaries force us to look deeper within ourselves, to sift through our experiences for something that could be useful and pool our cognitive resources. Boundaries create the conditions that encourage us to combine what we already know, as well as the new ideas we can come up with.
2. When we feel enough pressure and incentive to encourage flexible thinking.
If we don’t have any pressure or incentive, we can talk forever without actually creating anything. When a clock is ticking, when a reward is waiting and we need to find an answer, our minds are more open to new ways of looking at a problem and we become more cognitively flexible.
3. When we don’t get too comfortable.
When we’ve finally developed an idea that we’re proud of, it’s easy to feel self-satisfied in the afterglow of creative breakthrough. This is one of the greatest risks in the creative process because we can easily become attached to an idea and miss further opportunities for improvement. One way to avoid this state is to regularly move boundaries and change rules (as is the case in Formula 1). This disruption creates a ‘shelf-life’ for your solutions and forces fresh rounds of innovation and creativity.
The creative situation
The development of a Formula 1 car is a good example of what can happen if you provide boundaries and creative conditions for knowledge workers. Team structures combine a breadth and depth of experience that promote the combining of old ideas in new ways. The World Championship competition provides pressure and incentives. Rule changes on an annual basis prevent anyone from becoming too satisfied with their ideas.
A Formula 1 car has thousands of separate elements that must fit together perfectly. A race season could see 30,000 design changes being made to the car, 1,000 per week, as components are tweaked and improved to maximise performance.
The development of a Formula 1 car also illustrates one of the myths of the10,000 hours rule. Achieving excellence is not the result of countless cycles of mechanical repetition. It works more like a neural network, processes are repeated, but parameters are deliberately adjusted after each cycle of learning, to get closer to the desired result.
Default mode and creativity
Crafting a ‘creative situation’ isn’t just about setting up boundaries for work; it can also involve allocating space for creative reflection. Our brains have a distinct network of interacting brain regions that become active in periods of wakeful rest, such as when we daydream or let our minds wander. This default mode network (DMN) activates whenever we are not involved in a task. Consequently, it’s sometimes described as a ‘task-negative’ state.
Entering ‘default mode’ has strong associations with creative and divergent thinking, comprehension, remembering the past and planning for the future. Some evidence has also observed a positive correlation between creative performance, across all measures of creativity, and the physical volume of the grey matter that makes up the default mode network.
The creative product
The technical story of Formula 1 describes the importance of quality over quantity and the triumph of creative solutions over brute force. In the 1906 Grand Prix, Mercedes fielded a car with a Maybach designed 11 litre engine. Its beastly engineering produced a mere 78kW of power. 110 years later, Mercedes is still competing and winning Grand Prix. In the 2016 Formula 1 season, Mercedes’ F1 W07 Hybrid cars featured a power unit that produced nearly 10 times the power of the Maybach engine, with 1/7th of the capacity of its ancestor. Brains have replaced brawn with precision, sophistication and consistent creativity.
It is interesting to note that some of the most significant developments in engine design have taken place in the previous four years. Endless cycles of development, testing and refinement, with a hefty dose of ingenuity, mean that today’s Mercedes PU106C power unit delivers at least 47% efficiency, versus 29% in 2013 and around 20% in 1906. These innovations have been instrumentals to the Mercedes’ AMG F1 teams’ three consecutive Constructor’s Championship victories.
There have been greater improvements in the efficiency of internal combustion engines in the last four years than in the last century. When you provide boundaries, resources, and a clear objective, then release people to do their best work, great things are possible.
Three questions to consider
1. Have you considered what level of pressure facilitates your most creative moments?
2. How can you engineer your environment to construct a more hospitable environment for creativity?
3. When did you last enjoy a ‘task-negative’ state and allocate some time for creative reflection?
作者：Elena Holodny是Business Insider网站作家。
The Digital Workplace in the Cognitive Era by Forbes. Positioning for the future: Intelligent IT for the Anytime, Anywhere Workforce
There is a tectonic shift in the way we work. We expect the same kind of intuitive, tactile experience with our workplace technology that we now take for granted with our smartphones, tablets and gaming systems. We expect our devices to talk to each other and update automatically. Virtual meetings should be as easy to set up as a video chat, and whatever we need to do our jobs should be as easy to tailor as a streaming music or video application.
“In the workplace, there is a shift from ‘one size ﬁts all’ to a more personalized experience in IT support and service,” says Richard Esposito, general manager of IBM’s GTS Mobility Services. “Users want to choose their own devices, and they expect the kind of experience they have with consumer devices. At the same time, the idea of renting versus buying has transformed the way most organizations pay for new IT infrastructure. The infrastructure-as-a-service model has revolutionized the way IT resources can be deployed for many of our clients.”
Perhaps the most dramatic change to the digital workplace comes from the potential for cognitive support to combine intelligence and sentiment for a true sense-and-respond experience. Cognitive systems will change the workplace in ways we haven’t yet imagined.
There is no question that technology gives us more choices and better tools. Yet what most of us want is less complexity and, if we are paying for it, lower costs. Planning for the workplace of the future means striking the right balance between ﬁnding the right tools for each user today and accessing an infrastructure that can expand with the intelligence and the power of the technology of the future.
We will explore some of these shifts in the workplace through a series of publications beginning with “The Digital Workplace in the Cognitive Era.
How to create the digital workplace your employees need
What does the future of work look like for Gen Y?
When the Brexit referendum result came in, many celebrated, while millions despaired. The disappointed supporters of British membership of the European Union tended to be younger and better educated.
Many young people felt let down by older Brexit voters. After all, they are the ones who will have to forge careers in less certain circumstances.
Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 72% favoured continued membership of the EU. As one young Briton explained via Twitter: “Today an older generation has voted to ruin the future for the younger generation. I’m scared.” Another millennial complained: “The fact older generations have reaped the benefits & pulled the EU from my generation? Furious.”
With or without a “hard” Brexit, millennials or Gen Y – those born between 1980 and 1995 – are deeply concerned about their futures, all over the world. Whether it’s housing shortages, job prospects or general political insecurity, Gen Y is worried. This has to be of concern for everyone.
Gen Y will soon become the largest living generation and will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025. The median age of employees of Google, Alibaba, and Tesla is 30 or below. They have a mix of interests and challenges, unprecedented new skills, different insights, and often a flair for entrepreneurship.
Take Rajeeb Dey, for example, named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Rajeeb wanted to make a difference to the opportunities of other young people and became an entrepreneur aged 17, while still at school. Rajeeb, like all Gen Y-ers, is one of the first generation of digital natives. Many are well educated, well travelled, digitally literate, ambitious and impatient to pursue activities that interest them.
They embrace casual work environments, co-working spaces, flexible working hours, online learning and flat company hierarchies. Their career values and use of technology is beginning to determine what the future of work might look like.
But this is not a simple tale of technological progress and utopian views of employment. Other Gen Y-ers are fearful of the future: half of young Spaniards are unemployed. They live in challenging economic circumstances, where automation and artificial intelligence threaten the future of jobs.
Gen Y’s attitudes towards work were shaped by the global financial crisis, which occurred while they were in high school, university or at the beginning of their career. They watched opportunities for graduate careers shrink and many saw their student debts rise sharply at the same time.
These challenges, and the realization that they will struggle in housing markets, are all the greater as they spent their childhoods during an economic boom. The conventional financial and career limitations they face sit alongside the way their parents raised them to “reach for the stars” and “do what makes you happy”. Rajeeb Dey formed his start-up, Enternships.com, in the depths of the recession.
Many Gen Y-ers are not too concerned about the impact of technology on their work – but they should be. While they are largely fluent in using technology, many are ignorant as to how it works, especially compared to Gen Z, the generation below, who learn digital skills, such as coding and programming, from primary school age. This suggests that Gen Y could be left behind by the next generation of digital technology.
Despite recent rapid changes, younger workers are slightly more likely than older workers to expect that their current jobs will exist 50 years in the future: 84% of workers aged 18 to 29 expect that this will be the case, compared with 76% of workers aged 50 and older. While Gen Y is aware of the challenges of technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI), and confident they can live and work alongside them, it is up to them to create the jobs that allow them to do so. It is also up to them to be active learners and continue to improve their skills so that they do not get left behind.
Evidence that Gen Y is conscious of this is their keen use of online education providers such as Coursera, EdX and Udacity, which offer short, industry-specific courses on the use of new technologies. Udacity – university by industry – is an online provider of nanodegrees, supported by Google, Facebook, GitHub, IBM and other tech giants. It offers courses for self-driving car engineers, iOS developers, and machine learning engineers. Another provider, General Assembly, promotes itself as “the solution to the skills gap”, teaching courses in fields such as coding, UX design and digital marketing. Lynda.com offers more than 4,000 online courses in business, technology and creative skills. But the question remains as to whether learning to code, to work in companies like Salesforce is going to lead to a fulfilling career? Or is coding “the next blue collar job”?
Accessing these courses can be valuable, but there’s a risk that young people will favour them and skip traditional tertiary education, such as going to university. This risks them missing out on developing soft skills, learning the politics, history and cultural components behind their topics, and entering the workforce unprepared to deal with its complexities and uncertainties. They may learn about some of the technical issues of the day, but not how to thrive in the complex and confusing world of tomorrow. Gen Y needs to see these courses as supplementary and not as sufficient in themselves.
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With some justification, Gen Y complains government legislation favours older generations in areas such as tax allowances for pensions. Labour laws make it harder to lay off current employees who may be poor performers, which means there are fewer jobs available for young qualified graduates. At the same time, many Gen Y-ers have a strong sense of entitlement and expect to receive appreciation for their contributions. They demand flexibility with their work and lifestyle and change jobs far more often than older generations. This is sometimes seen as being flighty or unreliable.
Matching these high expectations in such unfavourable circumstances requires Gen Y to create its own future. But to achieve its goals, this generation needs to be more involved politically. In the 2012 US Presidential election, 46% of Gen Y voted as opposed to 61% of Gen X-ers, and 69% of Baby Boomers. The expectations of Gen Y-ers have to be matched by their taking more responsibility: they shouldn’t complain about political outcomes they did not involve themselves in.
As technology encroaches further into working lives, Gen Y-ers – the future of the workplace – must ensure they remain necessary and relevant. If they want to continue pursuing their progressive career values they must continue to improve their skills in order to work alongside automation and AI, rather than be made redundant by it. Gen Y needs to rise to the technological, political and social challenges that confront us all and get more involved in shaping the future of work.
Special thanks to Kate Dodgson, a Gen Y-er, who helped research this article.
Mark Dodgson, Director, Technology and Innovation Management Centre, University of Queensland Business School
David Gann, Vice President, Imperial College