ENGL 110 Oct 1, 2011
HOW DID OUR ANCESTORS HELPED US SHAPE TODAY SOCIETY
During our life all of us have ideas, some of them are relevant while others are irrelevant to our everyday life. It is common to see a group of people share the same ideas or opinions on a certain topic, and often create groups so this individuals can be in an environment where they feel free and safe to express themselves according to their beliefs. We don't have to go that far to see how this works, a person always tries to surround himself and pick his friends by the common beliefs and ideas. It is just easier that way, as human beings we try to fit in so by hanging out with people that share common ideas we achieve this. Joseph Priestley was able to find a group of friends just like him, the Honest Whigs. They would meet once in a while in a coffee shop where they could discuss their experiments, observations and what they learned from it. Each one of them liked to share his ideas and they believed that this ideas should be shared so they can expand to something bigger and create innovation. Being innovative is not an easy task for sure, the most important thing is that you need a foundation of knowledge and the right environment to be productive.
In society today, everybody is trying to meet an agenda that doesn't allow people to really see what's happening around them. Everyday life is laid out to us in such an easy way were all we have to do is follow a set of rules and obligations, disenabling us from wanting to explore and learn new things. As long as we behave good and do what we are supposed to do, nothing should go wrong; a clear example of this is work because if you do what your told too your going to get paid so there isn't really any necessity to go out of your way for something else. There's no desire for effort anymore or trying to do something extra. If we are honest with each other we could agree that not to many people would like to spend their free time drinking coffee and sharing ideas with well educated men.
The desire that Joseph Priestley had to learn, drove him to accomplish many things. Known for the discovery of oxygen and dedicating his entire life to the study of science, politics and religion. He was born in England during the 18th century and became the top chemist of his generation, liked by many by also criticized by some he never doubted his beliefs and shared every discovery he made.
He was a big contributor, a true scientist willing to share his ideas. Fame never really mattered to him, all he ever wanted was to share his ideas and help improve society in order to progress and function as a whole.
Johnson describes in his book Where Good Ideas Come From how only certain ideas can have the potential to form, so much depends on the enviroment. As he states, "a series of shared properties and patterns recur again and again in unusual fertile environments" (17). Good ideas develop and start to form in our head before we can even realize the importance of it, this is what he calls the slow hunch. The best way to comprehend this slow hunch concept is to understand that ideas form over time, they don't just come to you out of nowhere and like it was said before, the enviroment is key in developing new ideas.
Priestley happened to live in the right enviroment for him, he was an optimistic person but at the same time stubborn enough to stick with his ideas even though he didn't have the right answer the whole time. Many people criticized Priestley for his lack of structure on his experiments, this gave him the reputation of a chaotic inventor but at the same time it allowed him to breed new inventions as Johnson describes, "Priestley's approach gave him a distinct advantage in scaling the mountain: his research style was uniquely suited for the…