One thing that struck me from chapter 5 was the way the hearing for Paul went down. Collins brings up a decent point about the description of his client. Paul is described in court as a 6’3 white man in his early thirties, and even without the stretch that his eyes are hazel and not brown, he doesn’t fit the description of the criminal. This brings up the whole idea of the location of the flower pot that held his print on it. Even though it was once inside the house, the pot was outside of the house when it was found. I was wondering if this lessons the credibility of the his print that the prosecutors have against him? The semen analysis is still waiting to be done, but it is mentioned that none of Paul’s fingerprints are inside of the house. It is very early on in the case, but at this point I believe that the prosecutors are going to need a lot more evidence than Paul’s print placing him outside of the house.
Reading this chapter made me think of the issue with patents discussed in class a while ago, and gives me a remembrance of the question if patents are more effective than platforms. Mendel did not receive any recognition for his work, this surely was an annoyance for him. Do you think if his work was patented and he got all the credit for his work, it would have had an effect on others implementing his work because they knew it was his. His work was ultimately a platform because even though it was his idea, others were able to feed off of it legally.
After reading the last chapter of Johnson’s Where Good Ideas come from it became more clear to me how the process of implementing an innovation is played out. Putting this process into four quadrants I feel helps others understand the time and commitment that must go into fully implementing a hunch or idea. What this made me wonder was in order to reach the forth quadrant when talking about a hunch or innovation, the innovator must have had many reoccurring instances of failure, if these failures for a certain hunch were used in the four quadrant process for another hunch I feel it is more than likely that the process for implementing this hunch would be a lot faster and more efficient. This is relative to the ideas seen in Chapter 3 of Johnson’s book.
“Could you take all that knowledge and apply it to the human heart? Greatbatch stored the idea in the back of his head for the next five years…Greatbatch happened to grab the wrong resistor. When he plugged it into the oscillator it began to pulse in a familiar rhythm” (Johnson 136).
Greatbatch’s hunch that remained in his head for over five years ended up being a solution to a problem that they were not trying to solve. This discovery could produce the beat of a human heart not just monitor it. By accidentally finding this technology Greatbatch’s contribution was even larger then he could imagine when he started trying to pursue the original hunch. How often are discoveries in science accidental? Are some discoveries missed in experiments when the researcher is close-minded?
And so, most great ideas first take shape in a partial, incomplete form. They have the seeds of something profound, but they lack a key element that can turn the hunch into something powerful (Johnson 75).
I found this point from chapter 3 very intriguing. I never thought of myself as having multiple half-ideas or hunches stored away in my consciousness just waiting for the “key element” to set off the lightbulb and create that moment of revelation. A hunch is the foundation of a great idea or innovation. Without them, the magnitude of innovation our world has seen would be greatly diminished.
It was a fun fact to learn that the FBI partakes in retreats in order for the whole division to get together and discuss and brainstorm together. Knowing that there is much competition to get into the FBI, and move up in the ranks, it is good that they work together to better the whole corporation. The ideas flow better, and similar hunches can be discussed.
Serendipity is built out of happy accidents, to be sure, but what makes them happy is the fact that the discovery you’ve made is meaningful to you. It completes a hunch, or opens up a door in the adjacent possible that you had overlooked. (Johnson 108)
After reading chapter four of Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From, this was the quote that seemed to resonate with me the most. It made me question, have there been times when discoveries were made that were unmeaningful to the researcher and were simply tossed aside? Could this discovery have brought serendipity to someone else? The idea that each discovery and hunch is personalized can be a scary one. It limits the influence these discoveries and hunches have simply because they are biased based on the discoverer.
“In part, his epiphany was made possible by the random connections of REM sleep. Yet it was also made possible by a slow hunch that had been lingering in the back of his mind for almost two decade” (Johnson, 103).
This section made me think back to Monday’s in-class discussion about slow hunches vs. quick hunches. A lot of us agreed that great ideas, even epiphanies, take a lot of time to fully develop. Most of the time, a brilliant idea does not just pop up out of nowhere. Background knowledge and experiences are required (majority of the time) before even the greatest epiphanies are created. This quote just proves these points and relates back to our ideas discussed on Monday.
This chapter made me think back to an article I recently read titled, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Author Nicholas Carr discusses the effect of technology on our brain. He proposes that technology is hindering us in the sense that the internet, and Google, have everything we could ever need at the click of a button. Our brains have adapted to the swiftness of the internet. No longer do we read through the entirety of texts to expand our knowledge on certain topics — our brains have adapted to skimming in order to find the bare necessities of information that we need. This article makes me wonder: Is the accessibility of information because of the internet limiting our creativity? Have our skimming habits resulted in less production of ideas?
In this chapter it is mentioned several times that de Forest had failed many times while implementing one of his most critical innovations, I was wondering if it would had been more effective in a timeliness sense if other hunches and ideas were connected to his, or was it most effective for him to “fail forward.” This also ties back into the idea that every hunch takes a while to be fully implemented and even with that said not every hunch ends up being fully introduced.I get the feeling that “failing forward” and having a team behind you is what is best for implementation.
When it is mentioned that organizational inspiration is built off information networks that allow hunches to disperse and recombine, I feel like this idea can be easily contradicted, for some hunches in the past and in the future may be better off forming side by side. When hunches disperse it is likely that they will not rejoin again. Examples include the hunches that were on the way into being fully implemented in order to prevent 911. These hunches dispersed and never rejoined, the rejoining of these hunches could have resulted in a lesser consequence on that day. With every theme in this book i have come to a realization that every idea and theory can exert contradictory ideas.
The whole section about hunches is very interesting. How it applies to the idea of a web, and adjacent possible. For a hunch to become reality, it needs a web of many ideas thinking or coming up with the same idea. It is very interesting to look into the past and records of people comin up with similar ideas and what could have happend if they came together, such as the phoenix project and the flight school maybe stopping 9/11. in a similar time for it to come out to light and be legitimized. and as johnson puts it, ” Hunches that don’t connect are too to stay hunches.”(76)
The web came into being as an archetypal slow hunch: from a child’s exploration of a hundred-year-old-ecyclopedia, to a freelancer’s idle side project designed to help him keep track of his colleagues, to a deliberate attempt to build new information platform that could connect computers across the planet.
The world wide web is something we use everyday, multiple times. A hunch that started from a kid reading a book lead to one of the great tools ever invented. This is a humbling story because it shows the strength of ambition and curiosity. If Berners-Lee hadn’t read about the “portal to the world of information”, he may have never created the internet. It puts into perspective how strong a hunch and truly be.
“So part of the secret of hunch cultivation is simple: write everything down.” (Johnson, p83)
Often times we lose track of our hunches and even forget them. Hunches are like a seed, they need to be planted, tended to, and harvested. We need to write our hunches down so that we do not lose them and kill them before they even had a chance to grow. This reminds me of keeping a journal. If you want to remember special occasions for instance, you could keep a journal of all the special occasions of which you have celebrated. Once written down, years could go by and you would still be able to remember those occasions. We make the biggest connection of writing down hunches when we think of Darwin. He kept a log of all of his evolutionary discoveries. We know what we do about evolution today because of his hunches.
After reading Chapter 3, “The Slow Hunch” in Where Good Ideas Came From I found many of the ideas presented by Johnson very insightful. I thought it was really interesting how everything discussed related back to using others’ ideas, networks, connections, and the adjacent possible. Essentially, everything builds on one another and while individuals can have hunches, those hunches aren’t relevant until they are combined with the thoughts of others. Johnson states,
“Most great ideas first take shape in the in a partial, incomplete form. They have the seeds of something profound, but they lack a key element that can turn the hunch into something truly powerful” (p75).
Johnson is suggesting that hunches while they can be good need to be nurtured by connections and thoughts of other people. The missing piece becomes complete when it is combined with a similar hunch that another individual has. In essence, complete ideas come about through the connections and networks made from a slow hunch instead of one lone idea trying to be proven. In the example of predicting the 9/11, that slow hunch was not complete because it was not built upon by other hunches or other individuals. Thus, this chapter is very important because it emphasizes the role of networks, connections, and the adjacent possible in making a hunch into a complete idea – everything is related and relevant to one another.
I also thought these ideas were really interesting because they related to the reason why we believe in evolution and natural selection. Darwin observed and made hunches, but until those ideas were coupled with other observations and predictions, they were not complete. In understanding evolution and even the scientific method, it is important to understand the role of hunches and ideas that were made to make theories and ideas real. As I learned in my Evolution course, Darwin kept a journal of everything he saw and observed while on his trip to the Galapagos. These ideas and hunches contributed to his theories once he made connections and networks between them.
“Good ideas are like the NeoNurture device. They are, inevitably, constrained by the parts and skills that surround them”(Johnson 28).
I think this is extremely interesting and furthermore relative to everyday life. In order to improve something, for example bad behavior, you must surround yourself with better people and things in order to succeed. This is relative to some of the ideas included in the adjacent possible, for example it is mentioned that for ideas to bloom, it is vital that the environment and people you are surrounded by must have a similar goal as you. If you are trying to find a cure for cancer, it is best for you to be surrounded by people that wish to do the same, not people with goals that oppose or differ from yours.