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Upcoming Salons


Time zones:

  • 1 pm in San Francisco
  • 4 pm in New York
  • 9 pm in London
  • 10 pm in Berlin

Remix Culture: Using Combinatory Play To Create – ii Salon

Fellow Interintellect Alex Yao explores how polymaths and Internet remix culture use combinatory play to create new works.

“Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.”

— Albert Einstein

Nothing is original, everything is a remix. We build on what came before, and create by taking bits and pieces from our knowledge, skills, insights, and intuitions and recombining them into new creations.

Combinatory play approaches creativity from the lens of being willing to play with different activities and ideas until we find the combinations that create our “original” ideas. Einstein famously came up with some of his best scientific ideas during his violin breaks.

The Internet has accelerated our ability to remix our ideas. We are able to stumble upon ideas from all over the world and remix them together to create something new. Careers are built on top of remixed clips and audio. Hip-hop and rap represents remix culture in the music industry and has exploded in popularity around the world due to the Internet.

Are we currently all living in remix culture as users of the Internet? What are ways we’ve remixed content in our own work? Does remix culture speed up change on the Internet?

In this Interintellect Salon, we’ll be exploring these questions to understand how we can embrace remix culture in our lives and start creating instead of worrying about trying to be original.

We hope you can join us. – Salon Host Alex Yao

Reading List:



Past Salons

Nov 11, 2020 - Perspective Shifts: Moments of Shared Understanding and Clarity

Fellow Interintellects Katrina Dela Cruz and Alex Yao explore our individual perspectives through the power of community and communication.

"Our native culture and language are some of the first ways we develop our individual perspectives. As we are exposed to more global communities through the Internet, we experience the juxtaposition of our views against other’s views. How do we allow (or not allow) these moments to change us?

How does language enable or inhibit us from a shared perspective? How does learning a new language shift the way we see the world and open up a new range of understanding? How does our attachment to our cultures/identities hold us back from shared perspective shifts?

How can we experience more moments of shared understanding and clarity in our day to day relationships? How do we reconcile when we are unable to reach these moments? What do shared perspective shifts look like on an individual vs. societal level?

In this Interintellect salon, we’ll be exploring these questions in order to understand the role perspective shifts play in our lives and how we can use these moments to connect with others." - Salon Hosts Katrina Dela Cruz and Alex Yao

Oct 19, 2020 - Introverts vs Extroverts: Are We Really So Different?

Fellow Interintellect Alex Yao explores introversion, extraversion, how we see ourselves, how others perceive us, and how we make decisions.

"When Jung first came up with the dichotomy of Introversion (I) and Extraversion (E), he was describing where we direct our energy—outward, toward the external world, or inward, toward our own minds. Our energy expression, E or I, then influences the development of all other “functional types,” such as Thinking, Feeling, Sensing, and iNtuiting.

Myers Briggs popularized Jung’s typology and created the MBTI personality tests, which most people now know of today.

Is our world built for extraverts? Are we stuck with the classifications we are given? Does introversion and extraversion exist on a spectrum, or do people fall into one category or the other? Does the Internet favor introverts or extraverts?

What is the underlying value of typology and how can we use it to grow? How do misinterpretations or myths about typology and classification limit us? What are the other dimensions/traits that relate to introversion and extraversion?

In this Interintellect Salon, we’ll be exploring these questions to understand how the dichotomy of introversion and extraversion shapes the world we live in." - Salon Host Alex Yao

Sept 13, 2020 - Stewart Brand’s Mental Model of Pace Layering (With Alex Yao)

Fellow Interintellect Alex Yao explores how we relate to time, based on Stewart Brand’s mental model of pace layering.

Stewart Brand describes six significant levels of pace and size in the working structure of a robust and adaptable civilization. From fast to slow the levels are:

  • Fashion/art
  • Commerce
  • Infrastructure
  • Governance
  • Culture
  • Nature

In a healthy society each level is allowed to operate at its own pace, safely sustained by the slower levels below and kept invigorated by the livelier levels above. "The order of civilization. The fast layers innovate; the slow layers stabilize. The whole combines learning with continuity."

How do we resolve conflicting demands and time scales in our own lives? How can we use the mental model of pace layering in relation to our own lives, work, and to society? When do our own lives sync up with these layers of civilization? What happens when we are disconnected from these layers?

What does equilibrium look like in the 21st century, where each layer respects the other (Governance vs. Commerce, Commerce vs. Nature, Commerce vs. Culture, etc.)?

In this Interintellect Salon, we’ll be exploring these questions and explore how this mental model helps us see the world differently.

Sept 7, 2020 - Reclaiming Control with Amy McMillen - Interintellect Fireside Chat

Join fellow Interintellects Amy McMillen, Alex Yao and Scott Davies, discussing Amy's newly released debut book 'Reclaiming Control'

"Amy McMillen spent her entire life doing what she thought she was supposed to do. As someone from a low-income background, she thought her path to success was set: work really hard to get into a good college to get a high paying job. That is, until she quit everything and spent a year doing nothing across three continents.

In Reclaiming Control: Looking Inward to Recalibrate Your Life, Amy chronicles her journey of uncovering ingrained beliefs around prestige, perfection, and success. Balancing raw, personal narrative with research from psychologists and insights from experts, these stories provide a space to deconstruct and reconstruct identity and self-worth. Here is your opportunity to explore healing from burnout in a culture of constant hustle and productivity.

Consider this book an official permission slip to question external constructs, let go of expectations, and begin to trust yourselves. With a foundation of awareness around thoughts and emotions, you can take active steps to reclaim control.” (From Amazon)

Join fellow Interintellects Scott Davies and Alex Yao in discussion with the author, Amy McMillen, as they explore internal vs external narratives, definitions of success, emotional and mental wellbeing, and more.

Aug 21, 2020 - Polymathic Thinking for the 21st Century

Fellow Interintellect Alex Yao explores polymathic thinking - its history and usefulness today in how we understand and shape our world

"When we think about polymaths, we picture Leonardo DaVinci and the ancient 'generalists' of the past - when we look up the typical polymaths, they usually include the great scholars and thinkers of the Islamic Golden Age, the Renaissance Period and the Enlightenment, who excelled at several fields in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts.

Yet we're all aware there are polymaths living among us today, online and around the world: they converse with us at dinners and write books, they post on their blogs or host interesting Interintellect Salons...

So at this particular Interintellect Salon we will go 'meta' and ask: How can we use polymathic thinking in our modern world? Can we...? Is it a superpower - or an anomaly?

Who represents the archetype of the modern polymath in our own society? Has the internet made it easier or harder for us to become polymaths? Are there still opportunities to become a polymath despite accelerating and exponential growth of knowledge and information? Is polymathic thinking necessary for us to understand complexity and existential problems in the modern world? What's the role of the modern polymath in helping to integrate and connect complex topics?

We will dive into these questions and more through our own range of diverse perspectives and personal experiences. See you there!" - Salon host Alex Yao