Original thoughts.
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03-09-2011, 08:09 AM
Original thoughts.
Given that I have been brought up and raised on "second hand knowledge" my whole entire life......that I am subject to outside influences wherever I turn and allways will be.........leads me to wonder if I will ever have an original thought of my own??? Yes we think all of the time however all of our knowledge is based upon things that others have done before us.....yes you may have first hand experiences yourself.....but how you percieve these is again.........based on "second hand knowledge".

Can we think outside of the current system and would we recognise it if we did???

You're never going to say the things you want to say.
The things you want to change will usually stay that way
The promises you break outweigh the ones you keep.
Paint upon the wall for the hundredth time.

Jesus Jones
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03-09-2011, 09:09 AM
 
RE: Original thoughts.
(03-09-2011 08:09 AM)bemore Wrote:  Can we think outside of the current system and would we recognise it if we did???

You don't have any guarantee that a marvelous thought you just had was never thought of before by someone(s).

However, it is so easy to recognize cliches that you hear all the time and are sick to the teeth with.

Now, halfway between these extremes, you may have a thought one day that you 'feel' is important, significant, explains a lot of things for you all of a sudden and you had never heard it before.

For all practical purposes it is your own, original thought.

In science, priority is not always given to someone who discovered something.

For example, Jospeh Henry, an American physicist, discovered electromagnetic induction independently from Michael Faraday, but Faraday published his results a few months before Henry, so he is credited with one of the most important inventions of the 19th century.

However, when you do have an original thought, you will know:

Einstein, thinking of the remarkable similarity between gravity and an accelerating spaceship (or elevator) called it the "happiest thought of my life", leading him to one of the most significant theories of the 20th century: the general theory of relativity.
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03-09-2011, 09:10 AM (This post was last modified: 03-09-2011 09:13 AM by Peterkin.)
RE: Original thoughts.
Good questions.

You might get a handle on this if you start by separating knowledge and thought.
Knowledge itself is a result of information that comes from different sources and is then processed. Whether you label it as such or not, you actually do have quite a lot of knowledge that's unique and that you acquired entirely on your own. The kernel of truth, for instance, that Descartes is famous for, we all have at age 0.
Every bit of the exploration, observation, recognition, association that an infant does, and from which s/he than forms pattern and predicts outcome - that is, forms cause-and-effect chains of reasoning - all of that is original.

Later, when the child has been taught and learned (interactive process, not passive) to communicate, s/he adds second-hand knowledge. Sometimes a young person is required to store an overwhelming amount of pre-packaged knowledge, with little time to reflect, evaluate or assimilate.
Still, whenever you read a book, don't you argue with the author? Ask questions? Make rude noises, laugh, nod, shrug.... react? When you're walking along, maybe listening to music or looking at trees, don't you sometimes wonder "...what if?" and make up a story. Or twist an advertisement into word-play that means the opposite of its message? All those actions are the result of original thought.

And then there are the eureka moments. Everybody has them. I mean, everybody: little flibertygibbet kids, brain-injured veterans; brilliant engineers, fashion-besotted teenage girls, weathermen, fathead one-trick politicians, chemists, middle-managers... dogs, even. Sometimes we miss them or mis-attribute them or let other people belittle the ideas we generate. But they will come.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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03-09-2011, 12:01 PM
RE: Original thoughts.
I agree with both of you guys with what you say.............it helped me to seperate knowledge and thought peterkins, something I hadnt considered.

Broadening slightly on my thought.......I understand with what you guys are saying behind my original thoughts, the potential of them........differentiated and unique to me dependent on my experience with them compared to everything else......the definition of "I"

I think what I meant was a bit broader......how we all live under certain belief systems all of us......if we prescribe to "modern thinking" then we limit ourselves immediatly to "alternative" views.......if we prescribe to "religion" then we alienate ourselves from "science"

Its hard for me to grasp what I am trying to say Huh

Ok ill try to elaborate further......Thoughts may be attributed to you, however they are all based from knowledge and experience, I think experience would be infinitly variable however we all sort of pull our information from the same sources potentially, be them societal, lawfully, moral etc etc.......we are indoctrinated into the very society we live in.

Our belief systems are all built up of the same things potentially........only seperated by our experiences.........we all operate/live within similar parameters and it is these parameters that is what I see could be limiting.......its seeing beyond the "programming" and these limitations that we all live under is what I am trying to say is having an "original thought"

I suppose the closest example I have seen is what Zatamon said about Einstein up to now Smile

You're never going to say the things you want to say.
The things you want to change will usually stay that way
The promises you break outweigh the ones you keep.
Paint upon the wall for the hundredth time.

Jesus Jones
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03-09-2011, 12:27 PM
 
RE: Original thoughts.
(03-09-2011 12:01 PM)bemore Wrote:  I suppose the closest example I have seen is what Zatamon said about Einstein up to now Smile

Genius-caliber scientists often have completely original thoughts.

Once Richard Feynman was asked how on Earth he came up with an idea that he did not have a clue for. His answer: “I pretended I was an electron and asked myself how I would behave under the circumstances”. Of course Feynman was a rare genius with incredible imagination!

Niels Bohr once said to Wolfgang Pauli: "We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct"

These examples illustrate completely original thinking.

Once I saw a movie in which a young student was mistakenly hailed as a budding genius (test papers were mixed up). When the misunderstanding was cleared up (much to the relief of the young boy), he said: "I knew I wasn't a genius, but for a regular kid I am pretty smart".

I often thought of myself that way. Big Grin

Here is another example of thinking outside the box:

To keep the bored and unruly schoolboy Karl Friedrich Gauss (later a world class mathematician) busy for a good long time while teaching arithmetic to his mates, his master assigned him the task of adding up all the whole numbers from 1 through 100. The boy paused just a moment and answered 5050, which is, of course, correct. Gauss was not an idiot-savant. How did he do it? He instantly recognized that this regular sequence of 100 numbers could be arranged, starting at each end, into 50 pairs, each of which (1 + 100, 2 + 99, etc.) summed to 101. 50 times 101 equals 5050.
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05-09-2011, 05:04 PM
RE: Original thoughts.
(03-09-2011 12:27 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  Once Richard Feynman was asked how on Earth he came up with an idea that he did not have a clue for. ... Once I saw a movie in which a young student was mistakenly hailed as a budding genius (test papers were mixed up). When the misunderstanding was cleared up (much to the relief of the young boy), he said: "I knew I wasn't a genius, but for a regular kid I am pretty smart".

Feynman was smart enough to know he was as much a fool as the rest of us. That's his lesson. ... We don't know shit, but we're gonna keep working on it.

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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05-09-2011, 06:07 PM
 
RE: Original thoughts.
(05-09-2011 05:04 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Feynman was smart enough to know he was as much a fool as the rest of us. That's his lesson. ... We don't know shit, but we're gonna keep working on it.

Here is an example of Descartes 'working on it' (lying on his back).

There is no telling what gives a nerd (all scientists are considered ‘nerds’ today) ideas. Lying in his bed (as he usually did) one day Descartes was watching a fly. The room was sparsely furnished, all the edges where the walls, ceiling and floor met were quite visible, and suddenly Descartes realized that he could describe the position of the fly, anywhere in the room, by a set of three numbers: the fly’s distance from the floor and from each of two connecting walls.

With this simple thought he connected Algebra and Geometry that were two utterly different branches of mathematics at the time. Building on this simple yet powerful idea, he worked out a method by which difficult problems in Geometry could be solved with Algebra and vice versa. So when Newton started thinking about the acceleration of moving bodies, he had the foundation for inventing the mathematical tools of calculus.
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05-09-2011, 06:12 PM
RE: Original thoughts.
Not as long winded, but wanted to add, or put in other words, that perhaps it's the creativity and imagination that is original, which can lead to original concepts or ideas. Smile
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10-09-2011, 10:42 AM
 
RE: Original thoughts.
Here is a beautifully original idea that didn't work out.

One day, teaching his class Geometry, Kepler stopped dead in the middle of a sentence: he realized that there are exactly five perfect solids and exactly (as far as he knew) six planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. There had to be a reason for this and, in his mind, the only conceivable reason was the Grand Design by God, the skeletal structure of the Planetary System, where the spheres containing the planetary orbits (assumed to be perfect circles at the time) would be fixed in place by the perfect solids nested one inside the other.

A quick calculation showed him that the scheme had promise: into the orbit of Saturn he fitted a cube, inside that a sphere for Jupiter; inside that a tetrahedron, inside that a sphere for Mars; inside that a dodecahedron, inside that another sphere for Earth, inside that a icosahedron, inside that a sphere for Venus; inside that an octahedron, inside that a sphere for Mercury. The known values for the planetary orbits seemed to fit (more or less) the arrangement.

Kepler was 26 years old when this idea hit him and he spent the rest of his life pursuing this dream.

He could never make it work, even by using the most precise observations of the times (Tycho de Brahe’s) and the most rigorous mathematical tools (many of them invented by himself) because it was utter nonsense.
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