The inspiration for this thread for Ideas came from a paper-based Ideas Book which I set up in 1972. It didn’t really get many entries and some of them were more reflection than specific ideas; and it’s lain dormant for many years. So, I’ve just scanned and destroyed the physical Ideas Book; however, for completeness, I’ve recorded below some of the items from it (suitably summarised where necessary).

Throwback 1 – 08Jan1972 – The idea of an ideas book

I guess the first idea to go into this Ideas Book must be the idea of having an Ideas Book. Basically, I think that, although thought is of paramount importance, thought without action is a great waste, both of time and – yes – ideas! So, in future, if, sorry – when, I get some crazy idea – something completely original and far out (like establishing a World Tune Library with a cataloguing system based on every possible combination of notes over, say, a two minute period; when a new tune is sent in to the library it is played into an analogue/digital computer, and this would then produce a ‘catalogue number’ – it would be most interesting to see just how many more tunes were available at any one time), then I will write it down and it will be on record to act upon, elaborate, or even just to read over and laugh! Something quite amusing about this Ideas Book is that maybe the only idea I ever put into it that ever gets acted on will be this first idea to have an Ideas Book….

Throwback 2 – 11Jan1972 – A light design

A light-come-ceiling decoration system could be constructed out of hollow cylinders made of stiff white paper of varying lengths – width 32cm with 2cm of that used for overlap and the varying height resulting in holes of about 10cm width at various different levels. A reflector could be made by covering a sheet of stiff card with bacon foil (to which the vertical cylinders could be secured) which could be fixed to the ceiling using aerofix)

Throwback 3 – 20May1972 – The soundproofing stubber

The vast quantities of cigarette stubs that are wasted could be used as sound proofing material by manufacturing attractive boxes which have a stubber through which the tip would be released into an inner, cheap and recyclable, container which could be removed and sent to a sound proofing company. Profits could be made from the sale of decorative external boxes and from the sale of sound proofing material made from used tips. Stubbing would be cleaner and more efficient; and there would be a reduction in cigarette tip pollution.

Throwback 4 – 21May1972 – Investigating the warping point

Our experience of the world tells us that there is a causal factor for everything. When I look at the stars I think about who or what put them there, because logic informs me that there must be an answer. As I think about this question I assimilate all the relevant information I have until there is maximum capacity thought but an inability to provide an answer. The result is a split second of total confusion. It would be interesting to see what electroencephalograph readings appear when this point – the warping point – is reached. I wonder if other people have the same experience, and, if so, would the measures vary depending on the level of comprehension that different  people have of the question? Would the measures change over time as people increase their comprehension of the question?

Throwback 5 – 01Jan1984 – Simultaneous phoning and computing

It would be useful to have a unit that would interface between a Type 96A jack plug and a home’s telephones/computers. The unit would enable, at the very least, the simultaneous use of the telephone and the use of the computer over the networks.

Throwback 6 – 01Jan1984 – Game designer CBT – and the potential for progs

A computer-based training program could help children design the logic of a computer game i.e. the design specification prior to programming. A program like that could sell for £1 a time. With the right kit at home and a link to the networks, you could design, build and test such a CBT program in the space of 24 hours at home and be selling it immediately over the networks. If it was a novel and good enough idea the mass network market would soon provide 25,000 purchasers; so you could have made £25,000 within 48 hours of first having had the idea.

Throwback 7 – 28Dec1996 – Crucial pursuits

There are five crucial pursuits for members of the human race:

  • Making other individual humans feel good through love, tenderness, intimacy, caring, understanding, and good deeds.
  • Creating the conditions for other humans to have better lives.
  • Learning and understanding about the world and universe about us and about our fellow humans and the way we live.
  • Learning and understanding the origins of humankind and the important findings, discoveries, secrets and developments that humankind has made and encountered.
  • Learning and understanding the origins, secrets, and meaning of the universe and its relevance to ourselves and humankind.

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