- Aug 2022
And in thenineteenth and twentieth centuries, as linguistics, philosophy, and psychologyhave uneasily tried to go their separate ways, the classical problems of languageand mind have inevitably reappeared and have served to link these divergingfields and to give direction and significance to their efforts.
cross-disciplinary studies are becoming a thing for these areas
- May 2022
This cross-disciplinary approach allowed him tomake connections across seemingly unrelated subjects, whilecontinuing to follow his sense of curiosity
For someone like Feynman who worked in areas beyond theoretical physics, tacitly practicing the Llullan combinatorial arts will allow them to apply their knowledge in a more cross-disciplinary way.
But why apply this sort of thinking to just one person? Abstract it up a few levels. What if multiple people can apply this technique simultaneously?
Currently it's happening in academic circles with people collaborating across disciplines, but it's more likely happening by oral transmission by holding conversations about the work at hand and combinatorial brainstorming being the engine. What if they were keeping a collective zettelkasten to encourage their work? This presents the issue of the histories of separate knowledge bases and potential context collapse. They still need to have some sort of intervening interface (typically personal presence for memory/reference) to encourage it as search may not be as useful or much more time consuming.
How might anagora.org act as a potential model for brining these ideas into fruition?
link directly to portions of https://hypothes.is/a/GZ5kkuAyEeyfDx9azj0VAw
new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to seewhether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, andpeople will say, “How did he do it? He must be a genius!”
You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a
Gian-Carlo Rota, Indiscrete Thoughts (Boston: Birkhäuser Boston, 1997), 202.
Richard Feynman indicated in an interview that he kept a dozen of his favorite problems at the top of his mind. As he encountered new results and tricks, he tried applying them to those problems in hopes of either solving them or in coming up with new ideas. Over time by random but combinatorial chance, solutions or ideas would present themselves as ideas were juxtaposed.
One would suspect that Feynman hadn't actually read Raymond Llull, but this technique sounds very similar to the Llullan combinatorial arts from centuries earlier, albeit in a much more simplified form.
Can we find evidence of Feynman having read or interacted with Llull? Was it independently created or was he influenced?
I had an example of this on 2022-05-28 in Dan Allosso's book club on Equality in the closing minutes where a bit of inspiration hit me to combine the ideas of memes, evolution, and Indigenous knowledge and storytelling to our current political situation. Several of them are problems and ideas I've been working with over years or months, and they came together all at once to present a surprising and useful new combination. #examples
Link this also to the idea of diffuse thinking as a means of solving problems. One can combine the idea of diffuse thinking with combinatorial creativity to super-charge one's problem solving and idea generation capacity this way. What would one call this combination? It definitely needs a name. Llullan combinatorial diffusion, perhaps? To some extent Llull was doing this already as part of his practice, it's just that he didn't know or write explicitly about the diffuse thinking portion (to my knowledge), though this doesn't mean that he wasn't the beneficiary of it in actual practice, particularly when it's known that many of his time practiced lectio divina and meditated on their ideas. Alternately meditating on ideas and then "walking away" from them will by force cause diffuse thinking to be triggered.
Are there people for whom diffuse thinking doesn't work from a physiological perspective? What type of neurodiversity does this cause?
- Richard Feynman
- Feynman's 12 Favorite Problems
- diffuse thinking
- Llullan combinatorial arts
- lectio divina
- Llullan combinatorial diffusion
- cross-disciplinary studies
- combinatorial creativity
- cognitive neuropsychology
- Jan 2022
If we follow the caper star clockwise, starting with “checklist” and signifying just the facts as they are presented, we have ready at hand a way to begin rethinking the types of inquiry proper to certain areas of thought [FIGURE 7]. On the first of the five points then, “checklist,” let us hang journalism, objective accounts, and the raw data of scientific research. On the second, concerning “characters” and their relations, let us place psychology, sociology, anthropology, and politics. The third, at the bottom left, concerning “words,” let us imagine linguistics, philology, rhetoric, and dialectic. The fourth point, “questions,” accommodates philosophy broadly speaking, and the generating of topics and concepts, as well as modes of inquiry, whether inductive or deductive, proper to law and medical research. And finally, the top point, concerning “U” (a tag which stands for “you” as well as the first letter of “universal”), let us place ethics, religion, theology, and practices conducive to reflection and self realization—any means of understanding your place in the world and your stake in the matter under consideration. As the crossing lines of the five-pointed star indicate, all points are interrelated. As for the center, whatever one wants to place there can be illuminated by the five categories broadly conceived as just outlined.