I was working on what was to be my greatest invention – the Freedom Device. The Freedom Device. The Freedom Device. The Freedom Device. I liked the sound of it so much that I kept on saying it, luxuriating in the taste of the words. “The… Freedom… Device…” I could hardly wait to finish inventing it!
“The Freedom Device is great” I said to myself, full of fervour, “The freedom Device is going to save the human race. It’s our only hope.” Freshly reminded of how great the Freedom Device was going to be, and how important it was, I hurried up inventing it. I knew it was all down to me. “Invent, invent, invent,” I said to myself, working myself up into a fever pitch of inventiveness. My fingers flew, drawing arcane diagrams on scraps of paper. Complicated-looking diagrams full of strange symbols and lots of twisty two-way arrows going here and there. The notation was my own – it was my own symbolic language, if you like, that I had evolved over the years in response to the idea that were flooding my brain. This way I could keep pace with the flow of creative energy and jot the ideas down before I forgot them again.
“Jot down the ideas, jot down the ideas, jot down the ideas,” I said to myself in order to urge myself on in the all-important task of getting it all down on paper. The creativity was in full flow and I didn’t want to drop the ball. Things were going well – I could feel that I was on the edge of a breakthrough. It was tantalizing – the Freedom Device was almost within my grasp. I had almost brought it home. The key principles were becoming clear to me and after that it would just be a matter of working out the practical details, ironing out the glitches, all that kind of stuff. Stuff that we inventors are very familiar with.
At this stage there were sheets of paper everywhere, covered in what most people would probably see as incomprehensible scrawl. It looked like meaningless scribble but it wasn’t. Not to me, anyway. To me this was far incomprehensible – it was the Missing Key to a Long Lost Arcane Knowledge. It was an elegant mnemonic bridge which would serve to reconnect me to the white-hot flash of insight that had possessed me over the past few days. Otherwise all would be lost. The only way was to get it down as fast as possible.
My biro ran dry. Quick as a flash I grabbed a back-up pen and carried on scribbling down the ideas. “Keep on writing down the ideas, keep on writing down the ideas, keep on writing down the ideas…” I urged myself. My job – my role in this process – was clear. I had to ensure that the ideas which were cascading through my head could be crystallized on paper. I had to invent a whole new language to make a net to catch the ideas in – normal everyday language just wouldn’t do. I had to give birth to a new paradigm, no less…
Some inventors are of the practical variety – the sort who love tinkering around with soldering irons and diodes and rheostats and banks of capacitors wired up in parallel, and all that sort of jazz. Not me – I’m not even remotely interested in the technical side of things. Someone else can take care of that. My job was to translate the ethereal currents of the psychic stratosphere into a language that could be understood by anybody. Well maybe not anybody, but at least anyone with a half-way decent grasp of non-linear thermodynamics.
Now that the heady rush of insight had subsided I could look back over my notes and take stock. See what I had there. So I looked and I looked. I looked and I looked. Then I looked some more. But no matter how hard I looked at it, I couldn’t make the slightest bit of sense of any of it. It was utter nonsense. It was pure drivel. It was the incoherent rambling ravings of a witless deranged fool…