Brian: EXPANDING Ideas

Bob says: "Now there is an idea you could EXPAND on. How is information PRODUCED? What INCENTIVES are there to keep beating dead horses? What concepts have simply not appeared for this reason, and exactly why?"

The first part is easy! You've already spilled blood all over the keyboard writing on this and to top it off your last radio show was on it.

The market produces information. When you go to make a product you first do market research. If you are a researcher, you find out where the grants are, that is what the market wants to buy.

There are incentives to keep beating the dead horse, if you follow the line you get published, you get the grants, you get a career. Stray from the line, you become a un-person, your funding is pulled, and you become vilified.

In an earlier blog there was a mention of Billy Mitchell, An advocate of air power in an age where the focus was still on surface ships. His reward? Court martial for insubordination.

For the third part of your question, I'm going to have to pass it off to someone else because my mind is too small to know. If I was to guess I'm sure that Galileo could be worked in.

When I was in school I had the misfortune of feeling confident and failing so let's carry that traditional signature over to the blog.

"Failure has a distinctive stench and so do I."

Comment by Brian


I gave my concept of the production of information as an EXAMPLE. I want you to EXPAND on it, to see OTHER parts of our society in that light.

Oriental students often consider our obsession with their IQ scores to be humorous. They send ten or twelve hours daily on schoolwork, and IQ tests are just one more puzzle to them.

By "puzzle," I mean that the Oriental finds the answer his teachers already know. He CREATES nothing.

An individual Chinese, among the billions, actually built a mechanical clock. We have his name and the history of the clock.

THE clock.

It survived for a couple of hundred years and that was the end of the Chinese mechanical clock.

Copernicus is a milestone in our history, even though he was dead wrong. Copernicus declared that the earth was not the immovable center of the universe, as the Bible claimed, but that the SUN was the immovable center of the universe.

The reason that Copernicus is considered critical is because he was a MILESTONE.

He began the theory of a universe not based on biblical cosmology, and Newton went from there to our present concept of the universe.

In China, Copernicus would be a historical footnote. There are no intellectual milestones in Chinese history. A milestone is on the way to somewhere. Without white input the Orient is no more on the way to anywhere than an ant colony is.

In this sense, today's discussions are very Oriental. Like the rabbis, we take a concept and argue over it, find out whether each detail of it is true, but we don't BUILD on it.

Charles Darwin was afraid to publish his Origin of Species for many years, and then a younger man wrote him a letter that exposed the whole theory and asked what he thought of it. That made Darwin publish it.

Where is this younger man get the idea? Did he take a trip to the Galapagos and find a Revelation?

No. He read Malthus and immediately came up with evolution. Malthus said that population expands geometrically and food production cannot keep up with it, so starvation must ensue. This younger man, instead of joining in the debate on Malthus and the details about Malthus, EXPANDED the CONCEPT to the entire animal world.

The idea of extinction was not generally recognized then. He realized that some animal groups would survive and some would not. He went on from there to evolution.

Darwin's trip to the Galapagos makes a better story, but this young man makes a far more IMPORTANT story. In the Orient, the idea might have died with Darwin. Movable type was in Korea, which had an alphabet, but it was never used for anything. In the West movable type led to a total revolution.

Black powder in the Orient led to some fireworks. Again, the invention was expanded on in the West and revolutionized our society and led to the satellite I am using right now.