Thinking outside of the box... a few thoughts

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Rolland B. Heiss, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. Rolland B. Heiss

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    We've got preconceived ides about any number of things. Most of those ideas are learned and taught. I got to thinking this evening that those who changed preconceived ideas of their time thought for themselves and in the course of doing so changed history. Textbooks were rewritten. Commonly held beliefs had to be rethought. Consider what Edison said about failing for example. Each fail wasn't failure at all but brought him closer to his goal because with each attempt that didn't work he learned how not to do it. Of course Tesla was much more of a dreamer than Edison (yet they were both dreamers) but even Tesla held the same positive belief that failure wasn't failure but a mere part of the process needed to eliminate that which wouldn't work in order to achieve that which would. As for me, I'd much rather fail at everything I attempt knowing that at least I tried, instead of sitting in front of a TV or an Xbox or some other dumb downed thing not even trying to better humankind.
  2. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
    You should have posted this in off topic forums,but I agree i'd rather fail at doing something than to do nothing.
    Rolland B. Heiss likes this.
  3. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    I'd rather understand the process in detail so my efforts can optimized into something productive. Failure is fine as long as you understand the reasons for failure.
  4. Rolland B. Heiss

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    Sorry ISB123. I am new to this site and didn't realize that this should have been posted in an off topic section. But at any rate I sure appreciate your input and patience due to my newbie ignorance.
  5. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    I taught my kids that there are three types of people in this world.
    Smart People*: they learn from other people's mistakes and take advantage of all the sweat and tears those people put into those mistakes.
    Average People: Learn from their own mistakes - hopefully to benefit themselves or some smart person in the future.
    Dumb People: just don't learn (they don't do much either so we don't have to worry about classifying them)

    * Smart people must eventually act like average people and try experiments or make mistakes if they want to push the frontiers of science

    Rolland, Your problem, and the reason for the ridicule on some posts, is that most of what you are trying has already been not to work. Thousands of people, including me (in graduate school) have worked very hard to understand photosynthesis. First by learning what other people successfully learned about mother natures version and then by experimenting to push the frontiers of knowledge a bit more in their own team.

    However, it is always shown that Mother Nature can try many billions of combinations and replicate the options that work much better than those many thousands of researchers.

    Science rarely is so simple as you are making it.

    That being said, science also takes some fool-hearty individuals. For example, chemists have worked for years to build and isolate single sheets of carbon like the stacks of sheets that make up graphite. Then one day, a graphite researcher noticed that the scotch tape used to label a sample left behind an odd matte iridescent color on the tape. They looked at the tape with an atomic force microscope and discovered they had a single sheet of graphite on their tape. They won the 2010 Nobel prize for isolating graphene - by a process you can do with office supplies.

    I encourage you to keep doing experiments but I also encourage you to read a bit about the topics you wish to investigate to quickly check that you are on the right path.
  6. WBahn


    Mar 31, 2012
    I tell my students that engineering is both an art and a science -- the art is learning from your own mistakes and the science is learning from the mistakes of others.
    GopherT likes this.