Friday, January 6, 2012

How to Get Ideas

    "If you want to be more creative," wrote the [child] psychologist Jean Piaget, "stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society."
    J. Robert Oppenheimer agreed: "There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago." [This corroborates Nihil est in intellectu quod prius in sensu!]
    Thomas Edison agreed too: "The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child."     So did Will Durant: "…the child knows as much of cosmic truth as Einstein did in the ecstasy of his final formula." [Although the former and latter are cœnoscopic and ideoscopic knowledge, respectively]
    Which is curiously close to what Albert Einstein himself said: "I sometimes ask myself how it came about that I was the one to develop the theory of relativity. The reason, I think, is that a normal adult never stops to think about problems of time and space. These are things that he has thought of as a child. But my intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up."
    "Kids are natural-born scientists," said Carl Sagan. "First of all, they ask the deep scientific questions: Why is the moon round? Why is the sky blue? What's a dream? Why do we have toes? What's the birthday of the world? By the time they get into high school, they hardly ever ask questions like that."
    "Children enter school as question marks and leave as periods," agreed Neil Postman.
    Become a question mark again.
How to Get Ideas (p. 27-30) by Foster & Corby

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