You have an idea. You proceed to think it’s stupid. You correspondingly never write it down nor share it with others.
Most ideas have some gem of value, but that gem will never be isolated if the idea is killed too early.
I don’t believe that ideas should be judged in advance of sharing or recording them.
And the memorable name for this process just has to be idea sex!
Idea quality comes from idea quantity.
Because I don’t hold anything back, I find that in the groups I’ve been in, I’ll propose the plurality of the most creative ideas. But only because I also propose the plurality of the worst ideas!
But, I’ve found that many of my ‘most stupid’ ideas were actually the most creative. These ideas ideas then made for great idea sex. But if I had judged and killed them too early (or held the ideas back from sharing), I never would have followed their gems.
Because of this idea, I keep a list of concrete ideas posted.
For step 2, perhaps create a decision tree of everything that you can do for influencing the problem at hand. Again, keep all ideas, even the silly ones.
For step 3, a mind map may be useful for generating permutations.
2020 November 7: I was wondering whether anyone else had written about this idea before, and now that I’ve googled, I’ve discovered that the exact term “idea sex”, describing basically the same idea, was coined a decade ago. Interesting!
(I don’t think the production of this article was a case of cryptomnesia? But of course if it was, how could I tell?)
I said at the end of the essay that I find that I propose the plurality of the most creative ideas in groups. Another explanation could be that I happen to be just inherently better at generating ideas (the ideas have to come from somewhere in the first place…)— but of course there’s no way I can experiment using/not using idea sex on myself. But I still believe this strategy can be useful for others.
2020 July 25 (posted) - 2020 November 14 (updated)