The Engel Journal

David Engel, delivered via HTTP

Category: Imagination

What is Mastery?

Every so often, I like to take a late night walk on Moonlight Beach and get lost in thought.

Tonight, I asked, “What is mastery?”

I came up with an intellectual definition (as opposed to a spiritual, physical or emotional one). Mastery is being able to see the details within the big picture–not just the details or the big picture but both.

Van Gogh’s October 1888 painting, The Bedroom, has little pictures inside of the big picture. Here is one of them:

Painting on the wall of the Bedroom

Painting within a painting: On the wall of van Gogh’s the Bedroom.

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Open Ended Problem Solving with the Brain Organizer

A powerful technique for open ended, creative problem solving involves representing your goal as an object. Surround it with questions. Attach actions to the questions. You can also put a “delta” symbol in front of the questions, to stimulate change actions.

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Two weekends ago, I woke up from a nap, switched on my iPad and started browsing through the work that I did at the beginning of this blog in 2009.

Then, a couple nights ago, I’m searching through Kinetic Typography portfolios on Vimeo and I run into this story from Ira Glass on “what nobody tells beginners.”

Painfully true! I wish I was the exception :-)


As we start the 10’s, the landscape of advertising will become even more shaky for those who rely on “what used to work.”

Leonardo DaVinci's toothed gears. DaVinci was also a painter, architect, mathematician...

2010: Time to discover new ways to help consumers make buying decisions.

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Invention is explaining the obvious

Obvious does not mean what everyone else sees.

Yet, when the inventor explains it, it suddenly becomes obvious to everyone else.

Got Milk

Obvious. Why didn't I think of that?

Social Advertising

Let people make their own advertisements for your product in their Facebook pictures.

Photographer: Mickey van der Stap

Photographer: Mickey van der Stap

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Social Networks: The digital red carpet

Social networks allow the everyday person to write their biography and share it with the world in a way that — in the past — was reserved for the super-famous.

Social networking is a similar feeling to walking down the red carpet at the academy awards.

Photographer Alan Light / Academy Awards 1988

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Passwords reinvented: easy to remember, hard to crack

How do you make passwords for the cloud that are hard for hackers to guess yet easy to remember?

Below is a transcript of the video. It was prepared in a hurry and may contain spelling errors. Read the rest of this entry »

911 video scares criminals

(Future of 911) — Dialing 911 starts a video recording that is uploaded to a server in real-time. Records are kept online, even if the phone breaks.

Below is a transcript of the video. It was prepared in a hurry and may contain spelling errors. Read the rest of this entry »

Weather Dashboard in Call Centers

How about a tiny dash board on every call center operator’s computer that shows the weather where the caller is?

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