Whose Thought Is It?
Yesterday I had one of my least favorite thoughts in life. It is my least favorite because it starts out so good but ends poorly. At church I had a brilliant thought…Don’t make permanent decisions in temporary situations. For about a 3 Mississippi I thought I was the most brilliant guy who ever lived. Look out Socrates there’s a new sheriff town. Or maybe I should say a new Hoplite in town? I have no idea what the ancient Greeks called there sheriff but rest assured I was it in that moment. Then I had the worst thought ever. Somebody has to have already thought of that right? A Quick Google search and my ego was more deflated than the New England Patriots footballs. Calm down Bill Simmons it’s a joke!
Now to the important issues. I am sure somebody could spend their whole life pondering my next question and never figure it out, but I still want to ask it. Is this a thought I would have had if I was born 100 years ago or did my environment assist me in it?
Obviously if I had the idea to make an app that would be heavily influenced by my environment. Nobody had any idea that an iPhone would exist 100 years ago so the chances of them inventing an app would be slim. If somebody did have an idea for an app back then they were probably called insane and listed in the DSM-5 had that existed. Actually, what if somebody had the idea for that back then to? My head officially hurts now.
Another example is this. Last week a guy came over for dinner from Uganda. He had been here for the last couple months and I asked what the craziest part about America is to him. He replied “Disney World. It is unreal. In Africa that is something you can’t even imagine. It would be impossible to think of something like that and when I go back and tell people about it they probably won’t believe me.” I said that in a little better English than he did but the message is the same. If you are in Africa, Disney World is unimaginable.
I think we can agree that most products are determined by environment, but what about words though? I may be a little bias because I want to take credit for what I said and prove my brilliance, but are they influenced by the time period you live in?
I say no.
I would say the way you phrase it over the years can change but the thought would still be there. I think I had a genius/brilliant/super awesome thought that was not influenced by environment. I also think most people think the same way I do and it would make sense for someone to have already had that thought on their own a few years before me.
I think what will change is the record of brilliant thoughts meaning this. Every thought that somebody finds even somewhat smart will now be written down. Gone are the days where somebody will have a brilliant thought but only be able to tell it to their sheep. Thoughts now get shared and re-shared with ease on social media. Every dipstick like me who doesn’t have a college degree now has access to be able to post and share every thought I have. I dare say by the time I die I will have more thoughts written down than Plato ever did. Which is kind of cool for me to think about but scary for everyone else who reads this.
I do believe that if I lived in Africa, Greenland, or Russia I would have still had that same thought. Let me know what you guys think? Do you agree? Disagree? Or did this fry your brain?