Professor Bernard's picture

In the Kingdom of Ideas

By Bernard

We all know that everything begins with a thought.  Nothing is done without a person get first a thought of it.

Thinking is done in the brain, composed of billions of neurons interconnected which can all act at the same time, unlike our computers which should act with sequential actions, never simultaneously.  The connections between neurons are done via their dendrites and axon.  The axon is unique, complex and can be very long;  it connects the neuron to others.  The dendrites have the same function, but unique.  The neurons may be destroyed or generated during the human life.

The brain produces countless amount of thoughts.  The majority of them are coming from our unconscious thoughts and our dreams are a reflection for a few seconds of our thoughts of several hours.  By cons, we can control our thoughts;  we may make our brain to work on an issue by thinking about this question just before going to sleep.  Later, without thinking about it, a new tought will arrive unexpectedly:  our unconscious brain has found it while we were not thinking!  We can even think without thinking.

The result of our thought is an idea. The idea is a concrete thought. Obviously, there are all sorts of ideas, more or less acceptable. It is up to each of us to sort and keep only the good ideas, the best ideas, the most positive ideas, the most extraordinary ideas, the wonderful ideas.

The ideas may give birth to beliefs, linked to emotions, or to certainties, following assumptions confirmed by the scientific process.

The beliefs are ideas developed, supported by personal experiences and acquired in an emotional context that accentuates and confirms the belief.  The process first gives opinions, which are temporary beliefs.  More we accumulate those personal experiences, especially with more or less strong emotions that confirm the original idea, the sooner this opinion become a conviction and we can even pass it on to others.  Finally, the idea being an opinion and a strong belief, will mutated in a conviction to get stabilized in our subconscious and in our daily lives.

The certainties are the ideas presented within a scientific framework, subject to a review and control process where there is in principle no place for emotions.  The idea was first expressed by hypothesis.  This hypothesis is then tested against all objections in all conditions imaginable.  After a precise process of research and experimentation, the hypothesis is confirmed or refuted.  The idea confirmed by this process become an accepted scientific law until a new experiment refutes it.

For example, some people believe that the earth is flat.  Today, there are even some websites associated to this idea with their supporters:  visit the original site and a replica site in Sarah Palin’s Alaska<!  In the USA, several communities, including the "Flat Earth Society<" profess openly and make a fundamental issue.

Founded in 1956 by Samuel Shenton English and led by the American Charles K. Johnson (died 2001), the Flat Earth Society has over a hundred members, thousands of supporters (2469 on Facebook) and about 9,000 visitors to the forum

It is a belief.  By cons, several experiments have shown that the earth is round.  Personally, I've been around the globe a few times, but always from West to East, by plane in the direction of the air current.  I do not think the earth is flat, but it is round.  I have this belief and there is this scientific knowledge:  two ways of presenting ideas.

In the business world, there are also several ideas more or less consistent with reality.  Several theories are put to the test, as this neoconomy that the Republicans can not forget, even after the financial crisis of 2008.  When a theory is contradicted by the facts, some people may continue to keep it as a belief and it is very difficult to make them see the truth.  And their country suffers for a generation, until these people die!

Beliefs die with their believers, but scientific laws remain after the death of scientists who exposed it.

In the field of economics, there are also beliefs and scientific laws.  Despite the difficulty of sorting through these ideas, we can make the effort to ask whether the idea is presented in an emotional context or in a scientific context.  For my part, I try to stay with the science, but I am human and sometimes, my emotions take over in spite of me.

The next step is to present the economy in the scientific context.  This is the Diagram of the Sciences<.