Go Ahead, Take the Guilty Pleasure of Thinking Like a Child!
We all every now and then have that guilty pleasure of thinking like a child.
Jonathon Keats is a San Francisco-based experimental philosopher who has, over the years, sold real estate in the extra dimensions of space-time proposed by string theory (he sold a hundred and seventy-two extra-dimensional lots in the Bay Area in a single day); made an attempt to genetically engineer God (God turns out to be related to the cyanobacterium); and copyrighted his own mind (in order to get a seventy-year post-life extension.
Keats's bold experiments raise serious questions and put into practice his conviction that the world needs more "curious amateurs," willing to explore publicly whatever intrigues them, in defiance of a culture that increasingly forecloses on wonder and siloes knowledge into narrowly defined areas of expertise.
Happily we all have at least one thing in common. We were all once children. We grew out of probably the worst thing that ever happened to us, certainly the most traumatic. But I think that we can all find our way back into that space.
In fact, I think that we all every now and then have that guilty pleasure of thinking like a child, which we do our best not to mention in public, not to give too much credence to. But I think that we can give credence to that even if we don't want to admit it necessarily to our superiors or some of our friends probably who would think twice about associating with us if they knew that we were as naïve as we really are.
But we can still, for own sake, in the back of our mind ask those sorts of questions and let them play out. Let them become whatever they can be at their full extreme. That is to say we can fully develop them. And even if it's only in our own minds that we are fully developing them that process can take us to something that is more concrete, something that is more actionable in an adult responsible world that we don't really need to say we came to it through that naïve question.
We only have to then take up where it got us and make use of that in terms of solving the problems within our lives. Whether they be personal or whether they be at the level of making the most of the world in which we work.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shuttterstock