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When reading the various science news materials it feels like new things are being discovered every day, and yet the individual things seem so insignificant, and yet again, often these new things are combined with other things, even very old things, and suddenly everyone has something totally new. Light bulbs that are a hundred times better than the ones that made Thomas Edison rich and famous are now commonplace.

A mundane activity like flipping a wall switch and electricity finds its way through some pure copper wires through a twisty century-old screw base adapter into the modern LED bulb, and the light nearly always comes on. I suspect and expect that the future will bring us many other things that after a few uses will seem as ordinary as these modern light bulbs.

Occasionally back in Berkeley, where I lived for fifty-one years, I would hand a friend a blank piece of paper and a pencil and ask them to change the world. As far as I know, no one of them ever did change the world with what they wrote on the piece of paper I gave them, but some of them did change the world somehow.

It is impossible to know what will come from what appears to be a simple idea, a foolish idea, an obviously stupid idea! Perhaps, the more peculiar an idea seems at first mention, the more potential it has for generating unique thoughts, but the idea must fall into minds that are in a condition to explore it with their own view of reality. This idea-bouncing process seems to work best with a small group of people who are searching for an answer to a seemingly impossible problem. Sometimes this process is called brainstorming, and here is a site that presents 19 techniques to brainstorm a problem.

Several years ago, in 2013, I wrote about obvious things that are hidden from us behind veils, such as various kind of camouflage that evolved to disguise certain species, and there are kinds of non-living natural things that act as veils, like time, space, distance and mixes of these things. But probably the most important thing that prevents us from seeing truly new ideas is that no one has thought of them, combined with those who did think of something new, but didn’t present it to others, or presented it in such a way that no one understood its significance.

I suspect that as you walk through your day there will be many things you see but do not comprehend their potential uses. Talk about these things!