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Enlightenment and where good ideas come from

November 16, 2010

Steven Johnson is the author of the fabulous Everything Bad is Good for You and, very recently, Where Good Ideas Come From Here is a TED talk of his on the latter book. People interested in the Enlightenment — and enlightenment in general! — should watch it.

One Comment
  1. jtjrd10 permalink
    November 16, 2010 7:06 PM

    This video describes the networking of ideas to perfection. Steven Johnson does a great job analyzing the way an idea is formed and how it comes full circle. The “Liquid Network” is how I have been able to effectively gather ideas on my own, but never considered the way in which the network worked. I feel that we as students fail to network efficiently with one another in order to exchange ideas or present better options for the future.
    As Johnson would say, “we protect ideas rather than connect ideas.” I feel that students sometimes hide what they call “brilliance” from others in order to obtain self-benefit. An example would be a study group in which one member knows the majority of the information, but fails to share his higher knowledge with the others for fear that they will exceed his grade in the class, or possibly exceed his class ranking. When it comes down to it, class ranking and grades have nothing to do with general life. If we have the ideas and knowledge anything is accomplishable. This was shown through the Sputnik example. By connecting ideas with one another we can achieve a greater purpose.
    As Johnson remarked, “Ideas happen from other people as we stretch them together.” The research in the video done by Dunbar confirmed this. The majority of the brilliant ideas came from weekly lab meetings were all of the scientists met together to discuss ideas and propose solutions. It is safe to say that without these meetings, some ideas may never have formed.
    In conclusion, ideas stem from enlightenment and enlightenment comes from opening our minds to one another in the “Liquid Network.”

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