Is Re inventing the wheel, almost as Important as Inventing it in the first place?
I think it is fitting first entry into the journal. Now please let me go on to explain this in more details. The idea that I would like to examine is that constructing ideas is a skill and a technology. To define an idea, quite simply think of it as a map to a destination. The more detailed and sophisticated, the farther and more elusive the waypoints, the more and more deiscoverys cann be made at the final arrival. An idea is developed by language and written forms within institutions and cultures or subculture.
History of Ideas – Very brief and general
Think about how animals communicate in simple ways, and how there is no room for growth of complexity or collaboration or development. When humans added an extra dimension to information with oral tradition and stories. The first revolution of ideas was staged, a revolution that allowed information to be communicated through passages of time. Life skills and ethical narratives were passed along in ritualised song or dance. This would allow complexity to grow, evolving into symbolic nuances in cave arts and other written or drawn crafts.
Many historians believe there is a forgotten history and technology in Egyptian hieroglyphs. It has been hypothesised hieroglyphs communicated concisely mass data in multi-dimensional symbols, with religious, mathematical and literal meaning all combined in one symbol. With written word, oral traditions and storytelling gave way to long religious scriptures and written laws. The rapid acceleration into printing press and the radio and then the explosion of the 21st ceturty has compounded the way ideas and information is expressed and its complexity has rapidly increased. We may not be smarter than we were 200,000 years ago, but our information is far more complex, compressed and accesable.
Rather than spend time defining ideas and their history we will go with the proposal that thoughts/ideas/theories or knowledge are in accordance with Stephen Toulmin (1953) effective assertion, that they are like maps. This is basically the concept that well constructed and compressed ideas are like a map delivering us sooner and effectively to our destination. With this distinction defined for this article I am a little more interested in debating the merits of individuals re-inventing or at very least reverse engineering theories and ideas. Being an autodidact myself this is an area of immense interest to me, as you will see in future articles I will attempt to flesh out the theories that I have around Language and culture being one of the most crucial components of idea synthesis. But for now we will argue the possible merits and then the negatives of piecing together and formulating your own ideas, without the formal education or history of knowledge of a university professor or PHD student.
Why would it be good to develop your own ideas and how is this something that may prove useful for idea generation in general?
The answer to this one lies in the nature of learning itself.
Many studies now converge on the ideas that failure makes us learn and the neurological effects of memories being created due to emotions in many ways support this idea of active learning is better than listening.
Now many of you may be reading and thinking well obviously it will always be a good idea to try learn or reinvent the wheel per say. Now that is defiantly true. But then I must put to everyone, how many original theories are going though their thoughts each day? Now let me qualify this, I do not mean opinions, I mean a whole new map in your mind of what it means to say be a piece of the economy, or moral ambiguities, or in fact the reconciling of discrepancies between the status quo perceptions of our culture and the actual mathematical facts. Now take for example real-estate, a grossly over simplified concept in may peoples minds, and dangerously leaves them vulnerable to manipulation or mass dis information while making decisions about what it means or how it works in the economy. I go into this in more detail in the future Article.
Now what if I create something and its objectively wrong? Or terminally flawed?
It is valid anyway as a learning tool for others. Marxism and communism, clearly a brilliant mind, not everyone you meet is able to design and entire economic political and social system that was adopted in some form of success by million and millions of people and shaped the post WWII 20th century, now we can use this in juxtaposition to capitalism and weight the pros and cons, despite not adopting it and realising it, as most economists do, a fundamentally flawed system. But we can use it with great value as a tool of understanding, and an experiment with a hypotheses that played out to be analyzed. Now this was an very complex idea, and is beyond the scope of what most of us will be able to construct, but we can still see that despite not being univneralllsy successful, it is feed back and allows us to when moving forward and analyzing own ideas of economic futures ,where the line that should and should not be crossed are. It gives us the ability to lean how to map make, in a sense we learn where the parameters are. Weather we work on the same idea from a different angle or we develop the tool that we need to decide when an idea is valid and the ability to pass on critique towards another theory. We may either build upon the ruins of our last idea, or to absorb new theories into it or allow others others to pick at the bones of it and add theory components. Thus constructing or redefining a language between peers and ourselves around the idea. A great example of this is the people attempting to fly with feathers and Leonardo’s flight contraptions.
What if i something that has already been proven or disproven?
This goes back to the discussion about the different types of learning. By developing and fleshing out idea on your own you have a fantastic opportunity to check the mechanics of your thought processes. It is much as our whole education system is a reverse engineering exercise. This gives you the opportunity of then double checking results with leading minds. It also gives you a greater appreciation of any additional aspects to a theory you have and a deeper connection to criticisms or support of this.
More in Part 2 HERE