Why do we transcribe thoughts?
Muse #332 - the building blocks of ideation
Thoughts are just that. Thoughts. Some thoughts are engineered and specific. Most thoughts arise from the sub-conscience. Some of them might become ideas. Some ideas might end up with utility based on the action that one takes.
I have been reading “A learning a day” daily blog since July 11, 2019. For nearly about 1,000 days. And today Rohan wrote about “Voice memos and notes” with his views on the way we write things down or record things. While I concur in principle, I would love to argue that the science of the brain is not as simple as that. And from what limited we know, all we know is that it is more complex than that - or that we don’t understand enough, yet.
Rohan posits that acknowledging ideas by recording them, leads to more ideas. And that most ideas die.
The brain stores infinite patterns. But it helps to have some index to recall them. Hence I presume writing them down or recording them helps.
The brain is like a photo library full of acquired patterns. It’s there. But when my screen saver brings back old photos it brings back the memories. We know the photos are there. Writing or recording something takes away the FOMO. And provides confidence that it’s there somewhere so it can be found.
The other factor is that the recording is an external store. Like a to-do list. Or a calendar. We have a forgetful brain so writing down provides guidance.
And most importantly. There are really no new ideas. Ideas are like a chain. They build on top of each other. We connect disparate ideas to come up with new ones. New patterns from old known patterns. A different perspective that we missed before. A new way of seeing things. So the act of recording is not just acknowledging. It is a tool to build up better ideas.
And most ideas don’t die. Perhaps individually yes. But those ideas that die are the building blocks for evolving the ideas that make it. Therefore every little crazy idea is worth it in the end.
I look at the act of writing down or capturing a voice memo as a tool to the memory trigger. In an Andy Clark kind of way.
The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark — https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/02/the-mind-expanding-ideas-of-andy-clark