My Original Ideas

Originally posted 2008/07/28 at my old blog.

Original ideas are rare enough. I think of myself as a creative guy and I am reasonably well educated. I’ve had two ideas in my life which while I’m sure they are not unique, I believe they were original.

1. The behavior of Human Beings is best understood by seeing the mind as a Rule Learning Device.

Noam Chomsky, before he was a political figure, was a pioneering scientist in the study of language. My memory of what I learned about him was that he posited that human beings had a Language Acquisition Device which made it possible for us to learn languages. I think that the Language Acquisition Device (LAD) is a subset of a Rule Learning Device (RLD) which makes it possible for us to learn. Like the LAD which makes it possible for us to develop languages only within a range of possibilities, our RLD makes it possible for us to learn and think in ways compatible with the device. I first came up with this idea in 1984 or 1985 when I took an introductory class in the speech therapy department at Bradley University.

There’s a start of an idea. Here’s another.

2. Activities of the human mind can be seen as internal behavior and emotions can be seen as internal consequences.

Operant conditioning, as described by Skinner is the basis of human behavior. But he was wrong to see the mind as a black box. I believe that a full theory of psychology and social psychology could flow from that idea. Internal behavior is rewarded and punished by internal emotional responses more than it is by outside forces. The fact that we can not measure these internal factors does not make them less significant than those we can measure. I first came up with this idea while at the University of Illinois in 1990 studying for my Master of Social Work. I think it might be a better theory of human understanding than any other which I know of.

Just thought I’d get these out on the web. You never know when the world may come asking for a good theory.

Thank you,