22.03.2016 - Hello, thing. What is your name? |
When people talk, they use the names of things.
You can't telepathically pass a thought of a thing to someone else.
You can't, in general, show a picture of it.
You can always describe the function, and the other person should get the idea.
That's how many ancestral languages work, synthetic words that combine small patterns into a new concept.
What you often do is to name it, and the other person would know what is being talked about.
To function, names must form a shared knowledge.
But what names a thing?
Suppose you were playing with an air pump, and noticed that it can help you clean up by sucking dust.
Some pipes and bags later, you have a device that sucks air and filters dust out of it.
What is the thing's name?
For you, it would be obvious - it's a "Dust Sucker".
For someone else it will also be obvious - it's a "Vacuum Cleaner".
Another would obviously name in "Antipressure Duster".
Obviously, the three of you don't share a name.
How would you solve that problem?
You might think the easy answer these days is to Google it.
But Google what, exactly?
"Dust Sucker" is an album by some metal band.
"Antipressure Duster" returns something about blowing dust with compressed air, which might be good for outdoors, but inside the house it would just rearrange the mess. Different idea.
Eventually, you might hit the right combination of keywords or stumble upon the description.
What if you made something obscure?
You might call it "Ambient Field Electrostatic Particle Accelerator", while the guys at Berkeley that made it before have called it "Plasma Wakefield Accelerator".
Google away, you'll never find the name without knowing it.
A name does not come with the thing or a concept, it's something people make up when they create it.
How would you know the name of something you thought about or something you made?
It's an open question, not even contemplated by modern search engines.
It might sound irrelevant, but without a name you can't know how your idea was done before, or what reasons prevented it from being done.
Maybe making that thing is dangerous. Maybe the concept you thought of turned out to be flawed.
You can't tell if you don't know the name.
How would you do the "Concept Search", as i would call it?
I don't have a clue, but that sounds like a problem worth solving.
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