Augmenting Human Intellect

First any possibility for improving the effective utilization of the intellectual power of society’s problem solvers warrants the most serious consideration.  This is because man’s problem-solving capability represents possibly the most important resource possessed by a society.  The other contenders for first importance are all critically dependent for their development and use upon this resource.  Any possibility for evolving an art or science that can couple directly and significantly to the continued development of that resource should warrant doubly serious consideration.

This passage from Augmenting Human Intellect is one that resonated with me strongly. I never would have thought to think of problem-solving capability as I resource possessed by a society. Of course I’d have noted it is a tremendous asset, and one that should be cultivated, but I love the wording of it here. It goes on to say that all of the other contenders for most important resource also have to do with problem-solving capability. It makes sense; if a community were to have no tangible resources, the resource that would be most important would be problem-solving capability, by a long shot. But then even in a country with many other resources (like us), without a surplus of problem-solving capability, we may as well have none! Problem-solving capability is how we use those resources to take the next step, to move forward and overcome whatever our obstacles may be.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” In my opinion, this is a compact way of summarizing much of the above paragraph. When your societies most important resource, your problem-solving capability, is utilized correctly, you are following this old piece of advice to the best of your collective ability. 

One classmate spoke of a quote that I do not remember reading in the article. I am glad I found it, because  the main idea of it is thrilling! ( The iPad could have been invented a long time ago, but it would have been so unreliable, and take so many people to build, it would have been impractical. But, in a way, plausible!

Another explained a quote that went above my head when I first read it; “… The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important items is the same as we used in days of square-rigged ships.” Its composer explained that Bush was explaining the “need for a system that integrated the storage of knowledge over time and being able to retrieve it successfully,” and used the “find” function on apple word as an example. (

Another one of my favorite quotes that resurfaced for me thanks to a classmate is about the purpose of technology; “…developing comprehension within the individual and of solving problems; both processes are subject to human motivation, purpose, and will.” It comes down to our will! We now know that we have the resources to learn about whatever subject we want (to an extent), and it is up to us to utilize that resource. It comes down to us now! Thank you to helenakim for the inspiration. (





After perusing the topics my classmates are interested in, and shifted mine a bit after realizing that I was looking into a topic that does not follow the assignment as well as most of my classmates. My research led me to online poker, and I was focusing on the social implications of the game becoming less about person and more about practice. I want to broaden this idea of mine; not just poker, but pass times and tasks that have become almost entirely/entirely online endeavors, and what that means in regards to our generations social build-up. I am much happier with this idea, although I do feel, upon looking over the #thoughtvectors for #dreamersunite! sales pitches that my topic would work best as a “solo mission.” 



One thought on “Augmenting Human Intellect”

  1. This is interesting, Colin. What exactly do you mean when you write “in regards to our generations social build-up”? What particular “tasks” that have become “entirely online endeavors” are you thinking about now in lieu of poker? Getting very precise will help frame your investigation, as well as help others understand your interests in order to provide feedback and possible guidance.

    Please let know if you have have any specific questions. I’m excited to see where you go from here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *