Thursday, November 26, 2015

Allowing Higher Education Institutions Be Incubators for New Ideas

Universities serve an important function in society as incubators of new concepts. Sometimes these new ideas create groundbreaking scientific discoveries that changes entire industries. Other times it might be a new way of looking at the world which in turn creates paradigm shifts in thought that advances civic and governmental interest.   Keeping universities as places where thought is advanced which means we need to accept new ideas as part of the process even when we don't like their implications.

We should not stifle intellectual thought because it can destroy its development that may lead to ideas that have practical benefits for society. We often are quick to criticism an idea because all of the details have not been thought out and its use not immediately apparent. However, over time beneficial ideas will grow and adjust as they become confirmed through testing while poor ideas die off because they are not confirmed through testing.

Ideas take time to develop. They start out kind of goofy and not well thought out. Over time these ideas become better defined, compared against various scenarios, and tested against other models. Eventually, a solid idea will develop that can be used to solve a complex problem. It may not be the same idea as the original but a more mature well thought out idea.

Good ideas are never fully developed. Think of how something as simple as Thomas Edison's Light bulb sparked a revolution of thought, created entire industries, and sparked new innovative developments that will likely continue long into the future when humans are sitting on other planets. He was not immune to criticism for his eccentric ways and crazy ideas.

Universities are places were many great ideas are developed, explored and sometimes patented. The value of some universities are based in their research and patents while other are more associated to their publication amounts. In either case, it is more important to avoid criticism of infant ideas and encourage greater freedoms in higher education to ensure that immature ideas cav develop to full fruition without molestation.

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