Because I keep a daily blog, I often find myself, over the course of my day, thinking of ideas for things I might want to write about. For the great majority of these ideas, an hour later I cannot recall them at all. Alas, they have fallen into that great “Pit of Forever Forgotten Fleeting Thoughts” (PFFFT) where they are destined for all eternity to remain.

Sure, I could have taken out a pen and paper and scribbled something down, or grabbed my SmartPhone and dictated my thoughts into it. But depending on where I am and what I am doing, such actions are often not an option.

But one can imagine some variant of augmented reality, perhaps involving wearables and subvocal speech, in which as soon as you get a thought in your head, you can instantly record it. In such a scenario, you could record such transient thoughts without the need for any real task switching that might interrupt whatever you are already doing.

So there is the potential there for many more ideas — the ones that spring spontaneously out of our heads in response to whatever is happening in the moment — to actually make it out into the world. Fewer ideas would end up going PFFFT, and more would end up in the intellectual space between us.

That can’t be a bad thing, can it?

3 Responses to “PFFFT”

  1. J. Peterson says:

    In 1929, the great cartoonist Roy Crane was trying to come up with the perfect name for the swashbuckling new character in his comic strip. He wakes up in the middle of the night with the perfect name, and writes it up on a scrap of paper so he remembers it in the morning.

    Morning comes and…he can’t find the scrap of paper! He tears apart his bedroom, his studio, no sign of it. Lost.

    But the show (or the strip) must go on, so eventually he settles on “Captain Easy”, and the comic strip title changes to include this name.

    Decades later, while moving his studio, Crane finds the missing scrap of paper. “Captain Early”. He’s immediately relieved he lost the scrap of paper that fateful morning.

  2. Demian says:

    Just keep one of those MIT Media Lab silent transcriber and your good to go !

  3. admin says:

    I love the Captain Early story!

    Now I am wondering what would be the social impact if that MIT technology were to become widely available. Would people end up secretly “silent voice texting” in the middle of social situations?

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