That one big idea

This very weblog post started with the title. Things just sort of expanded from that point. It is always that one big idea that drives things forward. Somebody once told me about the great ideas and grand schemes of politics. Outside of politics, most of the time that one big idea is not something that gets shared right away. Those big ideas are generally related to starting business or inventing things. That type of idea creation is highly incentivized within our market based economy. We live in a constitutional republic and I keep wondering if politicians are incentivized for having that one big idea to help society. A lot of politicians were lawyers before running for office which is essentially a profession designed to teach normative routines and guide rails. That does not really help answer the question that I’m curiously pondering at 05:00 hours this morning. I’m curiously wondering about the best method to incentive that one big idea to help push things forward along the path to that perfect possible future. Those are the questions that are at the forefront of my mind this morning. Sunrise is still 12 minutes away and my thoughts are already deeply fueled by two shots of espresso and a sincere interest in figuring out how to push things forward. 

Intellectual sharpshooting is a type of problem saving based sport. At least I view it that way.  Generally the practice of intellectual sharpshooting is an unexpected method of taking a look at a set of problems and trying to work out the best possible single method solution. Sitting down to work on a Rubik’s Cube or work on problem solving games is one type of effort. Sitting down to deeply think about and try to work out solutions to complex problems is another type of effort altogether. To my left is about 24 square feet of whiteboard that is ready for advanced exploration. By ready I mean that it is entirely blank. My Expo brand markers are ready to go explore that very blank space. Thinking out loud is something I generally accomplish by sitting down and writing like I am doing right now. This is just me writing with a little bit of music (Warren Zevon Radio on Pandora) in the background before sunrise. Sometimes the things that need to be considered are beyond the written word and need to be drawn out on the whiteboard to begin to size up a strategy or to breakdown the idea in terms of my traditional deconstruction framework that includes understanding the form, function, structure, and assumptions (FFSA) of the topic under consideration. Typically, that involves creating some type of diagram that helps evaluate the trajectory of the things and the pressures on the curves within that trajectory. Most of the time that type of exploration is about a series of false starts that help refine my thoughts to something that can endure a writing session. 

Getting to the point where a whiteboard session is required usually means that I’m deeply engaged in some type of problem solving. A lot more of my time should be spent in that mode. Behind me on the shelf is a stack of maybe twenty notebooks full of all sorts of nonsense and false starts. My written records are easier to search and work with since they are for the most part all sorted by the date they were written. Stored a few different places I have a repository of my written works sorted by year going back to 2002. Apparently, it was not until later in my college career as an undergraduate that I started opening up a word document every day and writing. I guess that means that for the last 18 years I have been actively doing what I’m doing right now. Given that many hours of practice at the craft of writing you would think I would be more proficient. My idea generation process has not changed all that much. At that time, I did not have a whiteboard on my wall. Ideas got sketched out in a notebook by hand the old fashioned way. If I had more time, then I might go back and see what things were drawing my interest almost two decades ago. That begs the question is my present self would even put up with the nonsense that was generated almost two decades ago. I already know the answer based on my actions. I’m not reading that content. Sometimes I will go back and search for something, but for the most part all of that content remains in the past. It is probably better that way. Sunrise happened at some point and the view out my window is already a promising start to the day.  

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