Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Spellbound, Jun 1, 2016.
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A creative lightning bolt, whether it be on art paper or in a science hypothesis, is sometimes inspired by the spontaneous and accidental connection between what one is working on, and what floats around in one's brain as seeming junk.
String theory sparked a lot of research in the early decades of last century, then languished for many years. It wasn't until some mathematician noticed some strange things he thought he'd seen before in an unrelated field of math from a long dead mathematician. He dragged the old math's paper out, dusted it off, and discovered that this guy seemd to have solved something many decades before about multi-dimensioanl manfiolds that seemed to nicely solve the problem they were having - even though it seemd, at first to be totally unrelated. I think that's where the Kaluza-Klein theory stepped in.
This memory of mine is years old, so my recollection of the history of String Theory is very spotty now, as can be plainly deduced by anyone who is current on String Theory history. I'll have to go back and read Brian Green's The Elegant Universe again (for the fourth time) to remember it all correctly.
The point being, if one keeps in one's mind only on what is (supposedly) relevant to the problem at-hand, one often misses the creative leaps that come from 'junk' things that seem to be irrelevant. You never know what will be relevant.
Another example: Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) solved his field physics dilemma when he spilled a plate of (M&Ms? Skittles) on the floor, and saw, in a flash that we should have been looking it the problem as particles, rather than fields. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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Actually, he came to his discovery after went to work in the Cheesecake Factory as a busboy/waiter, dropped a tray of dirty dishes, and then, in the broken dishes on the floor, saw that the particles move as a wave.
That was it. Couldn't remember what a bowl of M&Ms would be doing on the table at the Cheesecake Factory... Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Memory conflates things sometimes ...
In that episode, he was also using food, marbles (people fell on the marbles), and balls in a ball pit (bazinga!) to visualize atoms.
I am horrified that I remember such details!
De-condoning the mind is actually watching less TV , and less mainstream information .
Take time for yourself ; by yourself ; to think upon ; your thoughts and things .
It comes down to the quality of such pursuits. Not sure whether such quality can be attained in solitude.
Just give the self time to reflect upon ....
There's the danger of ending up in that facility with white padded cells ...
Since you mentioned Holmes and this thread is about ''junk knowledge''.
This is Dr. Watson talking of Holmes... A Study In Scarlet.
Read on...It's amusing.
Junk knowledge is not alway junk. It is more like the stuff you find at a yard sale, where one person's junk can become someone else's treasure. For example, a Roman invented the steam engine about 2000 years ago. This important invention was never used, beyond a demonstration of concept. It became junk in the attic, that sold centuries later at a yard sale, only to become very valuable in the 19th century. This is a good example of the wrong people at the wrong time deciding what was junk.
In my opinion, there is no junk knowledge due to the way the brain stores and processes information. The left brain stores and process information in a linear and differential way, while the right brain stores and process information in a more spatial way. What may seem be junk for the more commonly used left brain, can be useful when integrated into spatial memory of the right brain. The right brain is what gives the carpenter the ingenuity to solve problems he never saw before. What the problem is like and what the problem is not like are both helpful for solving the new situation . Wisdom also makes use of the 3-D memory of the right brain; based on life experiences both successful and unsuccessful.
Picture our 3-D memory as a ball. We can approximate this 3-D ball using a large number of 2-D planes all with a common center. The 2-D planes are logic planes from left brain, with each plane an educated opinion on a given subject. They all have a common center; the topic? Creativity appears when the 3-D memory is manipulated using 3-D logic. This is shown by the golf ball being hit by the club. This deformation is valid in 3-D, however, it causes many of the logic planes to come out of their plane; irrational junk.
In the example of the Roman steam engine, the 3-D ball in the inventor was hit for a hole-in-one. But since others were only thinking in 2-D, along one of their favorite rational planes, the deformation of their plane seemed irrational, so the invention was assume to be just junk. The invention needed to wait until the rational planes had evolved via modern science and the business needs of the industrial revolution.
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