We rely too heavily on “I think…” statements.
“I think vacuums on our feet would be a good idea.”
“I think selling oxygen in a can would sell in China.”
“I think an app demonstrating to people how rich you are would make a nice profit.”
These are short sited products. They don’t make anyone better in the long run.
Yes, change doesn’t happen without making assertions. But better understanding leads to more knowledge. More knowledge leads to better explanations.
It’s critical then that we don’t pick the wrong axiom to follow. Because it can lead to ideas that may be a scientific accomplishment (or make a quick buck) but have no impact in the world.
The goal is both. To make things better while making better things. To do that, we need to stop and ask, “I wonder…”
“I wonder if there’s an inexpensive way to provide clean drinking water?”
“I wonder what the world be like if every child had a laptop?”
“I wonder if there is a way to provide a cheap and precise alternative to the $2,000 microprocessor-controlled syringe pumps?
A personal favorite, “I wonder what I could package that nobody would normally want?”
“I wonder…” opens the door for possibility. Better to challenge our notions first before we go about asserting them.