Building A Database Of Every Human Idea

from the shut-down-the-patent-office dept

I’ve seen a number of times the fake quote (yes, it’s a myth) from a patent office official saying that “everything has been invented” and that the patent office should be shut down. It seems that not everyone has realized that the abilit of the human brain to continually come up with new things may be limitless. A professor in Japan believes that the number of human ideas is finite and that he can build a database housing all of those ideas. He thinks that such a database can be useful in understanding cultural differences. It’s definitely an interesting project, and (depending on how it’s implemented) could lead to some very valuable discussions – but I doubt it could ever be a “complete” mental map of all human ideas.

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Comments on “Building A Database Of Every Human Idea”

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dorpus says:

Do we really want to know?

So many human thoughts go beyond the boundaries of acceptable social behavior, or of political correctness; such a database would be limited by how tolerant its administrators are.

Muslim societies have come up with ideas such as having “men” and “women” lines at supermarket cash registers, but such ideas would incur wrath in the West. On the other extreme, some radical lesbians have proposed that women be required to use urinals, but such ideas wouldn’t sit well with the masses either.

Then there is also the know-how of how to commit crimes or terrorism. Do we really want every 12 year old out there to know how to seriously hurt people easily?

Such a database will probably have to have differing levels of access for the masses, for intellectuals, for law enforcement.

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