I Think, I Thought, I Knew

November 25, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

How much of perception stems from the confirmation of what we sense? Given an initial impulse, say a flash of light, we come to sense that we know the source of the impulse. Sensing stimuli we take it in, draw conclusions and work to a state of perceived understanding. We may not know for sure what the flash of light means but by taking it in and processing its existence we develop understanding. In our own way we create a reality based on these perceptions. They may not be accurate or even close to objective reality but via these subjective conclusions we function in the world and in many cases protect ourselves from danger.

But what of confirmations of these perceptions? Venturing to predictions  how we we distinguish between knowing something will happen and it actually happening? If I think that my friends are throwing a surprise party for me and they eventually do, did I know all along? Or, if I think the party will take place but it does not did I simply think it would? Where does this transformation from thinking and coming come? Is a confirmation of a belief transform the idea into knowledge? In a way, one who thinks of a hackneyed fix to a critical problem but never speaks up may in fact know a solution decades before the solution comes into existence.

Herein lies the common conundrum of an inventor who claims to have created a product decades before another inventor moved the same idea into production. “I thought of that decades ago,” we may hear. For some the very thought of an idea makes it one’s possession. Of course any system that assigns ownership to abstract concepts is asking for confusion and drama. Perhaps the greatest challenge is tracing where ideas begin- where initial inspirations work to influence or where other limitations make transforming ideas into more concrete forms difficult. Is there a homeless genius scribbling cures for diseases on wrinkled McDonald’s wrappers out there? Maybe the solutions to all of our problems are waiting for our discovery, just out of reach.

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