Sunday, August 31, 2014

Private Till You Plonk

"We philosophers are frequently torn between opposing considerations, but we very infrequently show it in print. We let ourselves be torn in private until we "plonk" for one alternative or another; then the published paper only shows what we plonked for, and not the being torn." - Putnam

I don't think this is unique to philosophers. Politicians seem to be judged harshly on flip flopping of ideas. We only see High-Board Divers, Ice-Skaters and Piano Maestro's after hours and hours of honing and perfecting a skill. When it is an idea you are honing there is, or at least should be, always the chance that you are wrong. The path you take to getting there is interesting. That is why I like the idea Google is famous for of allowing customers into the 'Beta' stage of development. I see no reason why Social Media shouldn't disrupt the idea generation of philosophers, politicians and stock pickers in the same ways it did to newspapers. If your thinking or your business is built on transaction costs, friction, and lack of transparency, you have issues if what you are selling is ideas. I still think we should continuously refine but the magic of the 'finished product' hides the interesting bits.

And of course, once you have plonked, there is less incentive to unplonk if you are wrong.



Reading: Philosophy - by Nicholas Fearn
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