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Observation inspired by “Art of the Idea” of John Hunt: “An idea is a paradigm shifting moment that forward projects future potential in an initially ethereal but progressively tangible manner”.

Beware the faux intellectual. This kind of person does not want to have new ideas. He wants to discuss them. At length. A faux intellectual wouldn’t know an idea if he sat on one, but quickly recognises a thought that, in discussion, could make him look smart. He packages his thinking as if addressing a debating society and relishes the chance to ask himself questions.

This internal examination of his own brilliance can be fairly time-consuming. A pattern emerges where he perpetually answers his own questions and presumes all those listening are riveted by the dialogue. Everyone, of course, is invited to participate, but find themselves stopped mid-sentence with phrases like, “I think what you’re trying to say is…”

The meeting started off looking for an idea on how to sell more shirts and suddenly you’re arguing whether Australopithecus robustus was the earliest form of biped to have toes.

Faux intellectuals are the Anti-Idea because original thinking comes from making a complicated thing simple and not the other way round. Thinking has to be funneled, not dispersed. All great ideas bounce off a very deep basic understanding, and not the frilly bits that surround it.

Ideas aren’t necessarily word based. They appear first, and then need to pass through language filter to be communicated. Words can be very beautiful or extremely dangerous. They can focus our thinking with laser-beam clarity, or dull the brain with endless gobbledygook. Discussion is vital, but after talking “about”, you also need to think “through”.

Silence is the perfect place for an idea to grow in. It’s obvious: an original thought has no need or knowledge of clever wordplay or intricate discussions on the nuances of semantics. A heated debate is worthless if the idea attached stays cold.

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