A DEVICE FOR NEW IDEAS

The Device

In a movie, Brad Pitt and George Clooney are nuclear scientists. About ten minutes into the movie, Brad Pitt’s son wins the high school science project with a proton decelerator.  The same day, feverishly at work, Pitt and Clooney discover the world is going to implode in ten hours. After serious end of the world earthquakes, tidal waves, and destruction, the device that saves the world is the Pitt proton decelerator.

All movies have devices.

Sometimes, as in  this movie, they are physical objects. Sometimes they are emotional situations where love saves, blinds, or binds. And sometimes they  mental devices, for instance, a detective movie or a movie like The Sixth Sense which depend on your cognition of the plot.

Devices awaken people from their mechanical routines.

Some are physical. The master whops his stick on the disciple’s noggin. Some are emotional, as in prayer by identifying with love, compassion, and forgiveness—by opening the heart to your savior, Jesus or Buddha or God—you obtain those qualities. Some are mental. What are mental devices?

Thought Experiments.

The time track of philosophy goes back before the Greeks and uses a special device called a “thought experiment.” Early philosophers such as Xenophon developed the thought experiment that if a stone fence existed at the end of the universe and you could shoot an arrow over that wall, then the universe was infinite. Also thought experiments appear in the context of science. Einstein sitting in his office–a clerk daydreaming–developed the concept of relativity by a thought experiment. Light was time. He did this by the thought experiment that by moving faster and faster on a train away from a light source—this created relative conditions.

A Thought experiment Which Awakens?

There are many. Here’s one: You are in a dark hallway. You can touch the walls and feel a texture and the rug gives way a bit under the weight of your feet. Yet, it’s very dark, until you see light at the end from a skylight. You look up through the glass and  see dark clouds. Right then . . . the clouds part and sunlight streams into your mind.

Can a game wake up people? 

When developing new products, solutions and ideas, a person needs to wake up. We learn by doing. Play our game.  

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