"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
What if the best tools for thought have already been discovered？2 What if the best tools for thought have already been discovered？What if the best tools for thought have already been discovered？How can we develop transformative tools for thought？2020-10-18Journal
But while this story has a superficial appeal, it's misleading. Really difficult problems – problems like inventing Hindu-Arabic numerals – aren't solved by good intentions and interest alone. A major thing missing is foundational ideas powerful enough to make progress. In the earliest days of a discipline – the proto-disciplinary stage – a few extraordinary people – people like Ivan Sutherland, Doug Engelbart, Alan Kay, and Bret Victor – may be able to make progress. But it's a very bespoke, individual progress, difficult to help others become proficient in, or to scale out to a community. It's not yet really a discipline. What's needed is the development of a powerful praxis, a set of core ideas which are explicit and powerful enough that new people can rapidly assimilate them, and begin to develop their own practice. We're not yet at that stage with tools for thought. But we believe that we're not so far away either.