Whenever there’s a new philosophy or major WorldView, there are usually seed ideas to that perspective – ideas that other ideas & answers to questions are derived from.

The Number of Seed Ideas

There are usually just a handful of seed ideas.

Some times there are more than a few, but it’s generally very much a finite number of ideas – beyond that, and it gets to be too much to look up (AccessFailure, LibraryScience) or compute. People have questions (ThePowerOfQuestions,) and the worldview has to provide answers. (Otherwise, it is dropped, or at least not repeated.) If a question is not easily resolved by some reasoning over a handful of seed ideas, the resolution can be hard to understand, ambiguous, or unpersuasive.

Thus the challenge is to provide enough seed ideas to give the necessary useful closure, but as few as possible, to make them as easy to use as possible.

The exact number of seed ideas may be few & exact (such as in the case of articulated PointsOfUnity,) or they may be numerous, unclear, and the ideas of varying brightness – as in IdeasLikeStarsAndSymphonies, and as visualized in a TensionMap.

Truth & Seed Ideas

The ParadoxOfExpression throws a monkey-wrench into the work of minimizing the number of seed ideas.

We want the number of seed ideas to be small. The ParadoxOfExpression is based in our inability to define properly, though. The less you define, the more paradox you encounter. The more precisely you define, the more boring you get.

Further, little paradoxes can creep up at the edges of the multitude of your definitions. A LineOfThinking often gets ''more'' brittle with extension, not necessarily less; GapsInLogic can easily increase in number.

Often times, groups rely on living intelligences (often the authors of the SeedIdeas) to resolve difficulties stemming from mis-interpretation or paradox. These people serve as judges. (Consider Biblical judges.)

Politics & Seed Ideas

It is easier to agree on a small number of seed ideas.

These can then be called PointsOfUnity.

Beware definitions; Political unity, like ThinkingGoo, seems to rest in accepting paradox, albeit in a SelectivelyOpenMinded way.

(Yet another similarity between the operation of individual minds, and the operation of group minds.)

Science & Seed Ideas

Science (as traditionally understood) miraculously manages to do an enormous amount with very few SeedIdeas. 1

Richard Dawkins argues that the greatest amount of explaining in Science comes from the concept of Evolution: “Random mutation, non-random selection.” Four words that explain an extraordinary amount of what we see.

What is it in the NatureOfScience that makes this work, where a few number of seed ideas in other things seem to be the source of endless conflict?

Spiritual Practice & Seed Ideas

In spiritual practices the world over, there is the concept of “repetition,” “remembrance” (or simran, japa,) of “seed ideas” / “verse” (or mantra, canon.)

Ritual (and the need for it) is the same. It does not require funny hats, robes, or even belief in God; Simply rereading a favored book or collection of quotations is of the same cloth.

The repetition, remembrance, or practice is based in a desire to recenter.

Wiki, Philosophies, Living Process, & Seed Ideas

One common frustration people voice with wiki is that they can’t get closure on “just what’s in the wiki?” There is rarely any simple list enumerating the seed ideas within the wiki.

This is similar to the problem of understanding a very large philosophical movement. Often times, the way of thinking is simply named after the people thinking it: "The Frankfurt School," for example. What do they think? I have no idea. Do I agree with it or disagree with it? I have no idea. What do they say? I have no idea. Like a wiki, it is a mush.

That said, TensionMaps or MessMaps (RobertHorn?’s incarnation) can help. Periodizing and after-the-fact abstracting can help. If a group is clever, it can figure out how, from the beginning, to abstract it’s efforts – consider TheArtOfHarvesting?.


See Also



1. There is no reason why this should necessarily be the case, but Max Tegmark has hypothesized that, given that it ‘’is’’ the case, and accepting the anthropic principle, it’s reasonable to believe that all mathematical spaces exist. Humanity should investigate if there are countably more “simple” non-contradictory universes in mathematical space, with few seed ideas, than “complex.”

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