无语的大牙

Paul Graham谈发现被忽视想法的可能性

美国著名程序员、博客作者和技术作家保罗·格雷厄姆(Paul Graham)在其个人网站上的长文《How to do great work》给仍然雄心勃勃的年轻人提了一些建议,适合每位对自己仍有期望的朋友反复阅读。下面是本文的第十三部分摘录:


An overlooked idea often doesn’t lose till the semifinals. You do see it, subconsciously, but then another part of your subconscious shoots it down because it would be too weird, too risky, too much work, too controversial. This suggests an exciting possibility: if you could turn off such filters, you could see more new ideas.

One way to do that is to ask what would be good ideas for someone else to explore. Then your subconscious won’t shoot them down to protect you.

You could also discover overlooked ideas by working in the other direction: by starting from what’s obscuring them. Every cherished but mistaken principle is surrounded by a dead zone of valuable ideas that are unexplored because they contradict it.

Religions are collections of cherished but mistaken principles. So anything that can be described either literally or metaphorically as a religion will have valuable unexplored ideas in its shadow. Copernicus and Darwin both made discoveries of this type.

What are people in your field religious about, in the sense of being too attached to some principle that might not be as self-evident as they think? What becomes possible if you discard it?

一个被忽视的想法,往往直到半决赛才被淘汰。你的潜意识会看到它,但是你的另一部分潜意识会压制这种想法,因为它可能过于奇怪、风险过高、工作量过大、或者过于具有争议性。这暗示了一个令人兴奋的可能性:如果你能关闭这样的过滤器,你就能看到更多新的想法。

实现这一点的一种方法是问问自己,什么样的想法是好的,值得别人去探索。这样,你的潜意识就不会为了保护你而打击它们。

你也可以通过以相反的方向工作来发现被忽视的想法:从阻碍这些想法的东西出发。每一个受人喜爱但错误的原则都被有价值的想法的死亡区域所包围,这些想法未被探索,因为它们与这个原则相矛盾。宗教就是收集受人喜爱但错误原则的地方。因此,任何可以从字面或比喻的角度描述为宗教的事物,都会有有价值的未被探索的想法在其阴影下。哥白尼和达尔文都曾进行过这种类型的发现。

在你的领域里,有哪些人过于依恋某个可能并不像他们认为的那么不言而喻的原则,以至于可以说是对它“虔诚”?如果你抛弃了它,又会有什么可能性呢?

#Paul Graham #How to do great work