Humanity is networked, we exchange thoughts and experiences. Each person has an unique mind, unique knowledge, an unique perspective.
If we make an effort to explain our view and share or exchange it with the right person the sum of the parts may far exceed that what any single person could come up with.
The success of this process depends on a few simple parameters. We have to feel it is worth sharing the thought or we wont bother put it to words. If a suitable person is available at the right moment we will make the effort. If we are able to word the thoughts we will attempt to do so.
Wording our thoughts is a skill we further develop by doing it. The avialability of the other similarly depends on how we present our thoughts. We are naturally attracted by those who impress, surpise, inspire or comfort us depending on our needs for that.
Compared to computers the human mind has its areas where its not very good but it also has abilities that truly blow the mind if one simply stops and thinks about it. Each person can have thoughts with a huge level of complexity and a crazy amount of data involved. We tend not to be impressed by the thoughts of average men but this comes merely from comparson with other minds that may be even more sophisticated from ones perspective.
We dismiss other peoples thoughts easily. This is discouraging them from sharing them, their ability to word them decreases and as a result of both the others will be less likely to seek their further expression.
There is a war for your attention going on. Countless people seek it primarly to exploit you. This process is of limited usefulness to the whole, it contributes a bit towards sustaining humanity but compared to our true collective potential these collective thoughts are of a shallow and unimpressive kind. They have to be in order to appeal to the many.
Something that would appeal only to you would have to be highly specific and tailored to your very being. It is generally something in a field of your interest and zooms in on a sub set that inspires you more specifically. These thoughts range from the seemingly unimpressive and mundane to the scientifically sophisticated. A friend or family member may invite you to a birthday party. You will meet others who know you which may force you to briefly look at yourself the way they do. You may enjoy the interaction and chose to have more specific interactions with a sub set of party goers. Likewise, someone on the internet may chose to ask you something out of the blue or simply share their thoughts with you triggered by the impression you gave them.
I at one time braged about having the best idea in the history of humanity. This written here is me answering for that rather absurd claim. I cant blame you for being skeptical about it, in fact, I'd argue it a good thing. I too doubt your ability to objectively compare this idea with every other idea you can imagine. Many other ideas will no doubt seem better to you personally but this will be one in the most general sense, it lives in this realm where ideas with few exception are not very impressive.
We shall start by imagining a pool of ideas, imagine every idea ever had by men carefully written down. Now the challange is to refine this resource until we have a sub-set of things that are all good enough for each one of us to take notice of and deeply ponder. Then we shall chose how to progress and finally we will make things happen. Does that not sound like an impossible challange? Thankfully or ironically we already have most of the tools to accomplish this feet.
If I was to ask you to share an idea you would, by yourself, filter down from the thousands of thoughts you've had in your life down to just one. Would I ask you for a few ideas this process would be easier. You might have 5 good ideas each so different they cant be objectively compared.
Would we ask a lot of people to propose ideas and subject them to a evaluation process sufficiently impressive it would attract other people who had what they feel are great ideas for which they failed to find the right audience.
With just these 2 ingredients we havent accomplished to filter down to the greatest thoughts had by men but the good stuff is already heavily gravitating towards us.
Then there is our limited attention. If we could truly filter down from the whole set of every idea had by men and keep only the good stuff the end result would take to much time to take notice of. We would start at the beginning of the list and never make it half way.
This means we dont need to fully refine the resource, we only need enough good stuff to fill our attention span.
If we had a magic filter machine that we could feed our ideas into and have only the 10 best things come out the other end we could still imagine the ideas had by average men not being good enough to impress us. In fact we should expect this to happen specially at first. The number of people submiting ideas will be so small it doesn't represent human potential.
We could imagine the brute force method to work: keep stuffing the machine with more and more ideas until the 10 best are sufficiently impressive. But this is not the answer to the riddle.
What we should aim to accomplish is to motivate people to put their thoughts to words. To have progress in the human network this is all we need. If we can collecitvely work to inspire just a single person to make the effort then we've already improved the network. They will make all by themselves that tiny bit of extra effort to seek the right person, we will have the potential for one addtional fruitfull interaction in the history of humainity. It wouldn't be the grand prize and the result would be so small that we cant measure it. We can still tell ourselves that we did good.
This is it you wonder? Clearly I've failed to deliver the prommised best idea of all times. You can already think of a thousand reasons why the above cant work, why it wont work, how you imagine it to fail. This is of course reasonable but I need to ask you for your constructive effort. Some place in the back of your head you have the means to progress this perhaps raw idea. Your ideas how to not make something work are simply not the best you have to offer. You might be out of practish but do you really want to be the one to crush the hope for a better world? Even if you only manage to discourage a single person you've already made things worse.
Your expertise is based on what you know and what you've done. We all make the mistake to think those mental filters work just as well on everything we've never tried. It requires a lot of experience to have how we imagine things to unfold line up with the reaility that follows.
Beuty is in the eye of the beholder. Filtering down the large set of ideas down to those worthy of our attention is a fuzzy process. It cant be perfected nor does it need to be. There is no need for a magic machine. It needs only be good enough to encourage us to keep at it. Humanity is awesome at gradual improvement over time. Eventually every flaw we can imagine can be honestly addressed and help improve the process.
In stead of a magic machine we can make a website with a text box on it. This doesn't sound impressive at all but boy did it involve a lot of work to make such a thing as easy as it is today.
In this text box you can briefly describe your idea. Others might have had it before but you are the one writing it down. Your description might not be perfect nor ellegant but if there is a raw gem inside it would hardly be the final words on the topic, on the contrary.
This is where we need others to look into it and do the first round of "judegment". Indevidually we are terrible at this but if a crude refinement process is repeated often enough the bias in the review will deminish untl it reaches a level shared by many.
At this level (tier 0) we have what I would call a dumping ground for ideas. Without a sufficient ratio of reviews vs ideas nothing useful will happen. We therefore ask the person submiting the idea to review a number of ideas. I think 50 is a good amount.
One by one ideas are presented to you, you divide them into positive and negative, you may flag them as spam or you skip them.
When the sum of positive and negative judgement reaches 50 you are to again look at them and divide them into exactly 25:25. As many good as bad judgements.
The things you've flagged as spam will be further evaluated. If your flagging is within reason your idea will be subjected to the same review process.
First it will be reviewed more frequently then the amount of reviews will gradually decline depending on howmany others divided it into the good idea section. If it accumulates a lot of positive reviews the idea will move to tier 2. If it doesn't it will simply be reviewed again and again. Say, after 100 years it will be reviewed 1 time per year. If the review is favorable it will be reviewed again after 6 months, then 3, then 45 days etc
You dont have to qualify your own idea by looking over 50 others, others may chose to review raw ideas not in tier 1 and bring it into the first judgement pool for you. It is however a good idea to put in the work you've expected from others.
Tier 2, the idea was good enough to float to the top after the first round of judgment. Its author is similarly asked to review 50 ideas from tier 2 and his idea is subjected to tier 2 eyes.
Each tier might also ask the author to tell us a bit more aobut the idea. While at first we desired it to be described in as few words as nessaray we now want to know some more details about it.
The number of tiers depends on the amount of ideas needing review. If there are only 500 ideas in the pool tier 1 will already produce a top 10.
The finest ideas gathered by the process will be open for futher refinement. (their number depending on the number of participants) Vollenteers can sign up for it. People can donate their time, expertise and money for this process.
The goal here is to make the idea as presentable to the general public as possible. We will make a specific search engine to which one can submit web pages, pubhished papers, books and other media.
A dedicated wiki is constructed where we can learn about the idea and everything it touches.
Video clips and images are gathered, a script is written and a short documentary is produced. Media outlets are invited to share the video with their readers as is.
Viewers are again invited to donate their time, expertise and money only this time to help make the idea happen.
And thats about it!
I could go on and on about it, there could be topical portals where ideas are naturally more appealing to people, the idea refinement process could be more sophisticated (read complex) but its the best idea in the history of humanity because it aims to expose and ideally progress your ideas. You might not think much of your own thoughts but I certainly do. You have a head full of thoughts not had by other men. Dont get hung up on the idea that your best effort is to race with others. As long as people take notice of it and have thoughts based on your thoughts they will grow. You don't have to observe and measure it, its guranteed to happen.
Could you be so kind to help me build it? You could simply ask me to further elaborate. You could help me write the software.
Who knows, we might inspire those who are reluctant to share their genius and play part in making wonderful things.
Gaby de Wilde