"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
11 Why isn't there more work on tools for thought today？Questioning our basic premisesWhy isn't there more work on tools for thought today？How can we develop transformative tools for thought？2020-10-18Journal
While these suggestions all avoid the public goods problem, they don't directly solve the public goods problem. And many promising directions – including ideas such as the mnemonic medium and mnemonic videos – involve a substantial public goods element. Is it possible to solve the public goods problem in such cases? The two most promising approaches seem to us to be:
Philanthropic funding for research. This approach was used, for instance, by the field of computer animation and animated movies. Decades of public research work on computer animation resulted in a large number of powerful and (in many cases) publicly available ideas. This, in turn, helped prepare the way for companies such as Pixar and Dreamworks, which developed many of the ideas further, and took them to scale.
The model used by Adobe and similar companies, in which new tools for thought are a central part of the company's operations, but not the core of their competitive moat. That moat may instead be built around training, marketing, documentation, and so on.