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Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age by Marty Neumeier

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3. Dreaming

Brilliant beyond reason

Imagination is one of the more mysterious capabilities of the human mind. How is it possible to conjure up images, feelings, or concepts that we can’t perceive through our senses? How can we arrive at perfectly workable solutions without the benefit of logical thought? Is imagination learnable, or is it only the preserve of eccentric artists and mad scientists?

The metaskill of imagination is conspicuously absent from the educational system. There are no classes called “Dreaming 101.” Alexander Graham Bell, arguably one of our more prolific inventors, seemed to be unaware of the role of imagination in his own work. He laid down three rules for innovation: 1) Observe as many worthwhile facts as possible; 2) ...

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