Reframing Ideas

One of the greatest techniques for advancing thought has been an ability to reframe ideas. When you can change the problem, or sculpt a new solution with a different understanding, you have an advantage.  And there are more than just a few ways to reframe ideas, from inversion to analogy.

Inversion
Reframing by Inversion is one of my personal favorites because it’s so simple. If you can look at the negatives you can look at the positives; if you can start with a problem, what about starting with an answer. Inversion allows you to quickly expand your perspectives in ways that can show openings. Pivoting the thought process allows some drastic changes. Or it can ease stresses when used for comparative value.

Scope Selection
Reframing by Scope Selection is taking the idea and expanding it to some extreme or shrinking it to others. Think about how it could be applied if some constraint was raised, and what avenues that that may open. Or you can think about how simple you can make something, that still does what you want.

This kind of reframing can be used to increase productivity or target forward thought. If you can simplify the implementation details, you can save time, even if it took a little longer in thinking about the initial process. And if you think about expanding the concept and those avenues, you can project paths forward.

Analogy
Reframing by Analogy is taking the idea and viewing through a completely different lens. It’s like taking an item and representing it as both a 3D object and a split projection draft. They are the same conceptually, but provide very different observations. Analogy also provides a great way for making conversation move a bit more fluidly by providing terms others may understand.

Ultimately, all of these examples of reframing allow changing the perspective in a way that allows growth. And sometimes a new viewpoint is all that is necessary for brilliance to be achieved. Just because something works, doesn’t make it right. And just because somethings right, doesn’t mean it will work. But there are times when you can take chances and see if it will. Play with the concepts. Maybe you’re working at a higher or lower level than necessary.

Loose Thoughts On Technology

Sometimes I wonder what the point of technology is anymore. All of our basic functionality needs have been met, or at least mostly so. At this point, we have begun trading privacy for minor improvements. I’ve already talked about my Luddian emotions, but it seems that a growing group of people are becoming more perturbed by the audaciousness of companies like Google and Facebook.

I already have issues with phones, but that’s a personal choice, Google Glass is a precursor to a much wider spread issue in which individuals may lose their choice. I just wonder what we’re doing to ourselves, when technology provides only minor benefit but can have such a negative impact to privacy. Maybe we’ll adapt to it as we have other things in the past, but there are questions to ask. Should we accept these tools and what are the responsibilities of the users?

Should we accept the tools? I’m not saying we shouldn’t, but to me they personally don’t make sense. I find them to be a bit tacky, as I prefer life to be more simplified. Maybe others will accept them, but the decisions need to be made. I can’t possibly lay out all the responsibilities, because there are more than one technologies to talk about.

Also let’s talk about reliance on things that we don’t control. We’ve recently seen Google close Reader and it’s had a pretty large backlash, but nothing to be said from inside. You can no longer rely on these technologies, and if it breaks you very well may not have a way to fix it. That is another issue, but it’s not necessarily the technology, but our reliance on SaaS.

Another tangential issue is that most recent improvements have been minor. The ecosystem is vibrant, but what’s getting put out just seems stale. Today’s news is the same stuff as yesterday, and tomorrow will be the same, just with a new coat of paint.

When The Storm Comes

When the storm comes, do not flee, instead row forth out to sea, past the breakers, further than what once the eye had seen.

You shall be running, not from, but directly toward the beast within. Fear not your fate, ’tis for you to bend and not to break in the gale and tide.

Bearing the brunt of the tempest, charging forth against the waves, a beating they may give but it is for you to take.

And once you have challenged the beast, you will be met in the face with either glory or failure. With either you shall carry a shroud of serenity.

Serenity of knowing. Knowing that you had headed in the other direction of ordinary men. You challenged fate itself.

Unfinished Thoughts

This month began with many doubts and personal issues, following a euphoric period over the holidays, it all seemed to be washing away again. Drifting out with the tide, I slipped into a malaise of depression, that started to fade away going into the second week of the month. Then just before bed in the early morning of January 12th I read something, something I didn’t want to believe; something that left me sleepless: Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide.

It was a hard blow. It knocked me back, back into the malaise, back into thinking and rethinking the same thoughts. Instinctively, I knew it was likely the immense stress from the case that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And yet, I wondered why? In my processing I wrote down two unfinished thoughts.


Successful Men

What is it like for the lives of men who sit idly by as time passes and watch as successful men struggle with failure? What is a successful man’s failure; to not have done more, to have done too much that wasn’t of import, to not know when he has done enough? Where does the successful man draw his line, or does he simply forget that there eventually needs to be a firm line? A line that he doesn’t have to keep punting, further away.

Stones and Metal

It is a triumph of history that we can look back millennia because of how our predecessors constructed their tools. Unlike the tools of today, that will likely fade almost as quickly as they came to be, stone and metal still stands only gently worn or hidden by the world around it. The only chances that we have of continued existence, at the millennial scale, is in our architecture and our cultures. Change has begun to progress at such a pace, even while it may feel glacial to us, that we are outstripping our own history in decades. There will be few who stand out in the test of time.


And here it is the end of the month, and another person’s gone who was out to change the world. I can’t comment personally on Jody Sherman, as I had never heard of him until just the other day. From the stories from his friends, he was a  “successful man” and I’m sure he’ll stand out in the test of time, not in one piece but little bits of him will survive in memories.

I just feel empty and tired. The past month, the whole of the year, has just been rough; every time I seem to get up, something comes and throws me back down. Maybe it’s time to make some changes. Time to find some balance. But I don’t know, this whole month can just be chalked up to unfinished thoughts.

Regrets Are Not For The Living

One must not have regrets while living, to do so is a waste of time, since we cannot change the past from the present. No wrongs cannot be righted in some form, though not always brought back and mended to the original intent. If there is a regret for not doing, then the logical response is to do. If there is a regret for having done something, then to reverse it you must act with equal or greater impact in the other direction. This becomes that regrets are now actionable and somewhat dispossessed of guilt.