Basic ParaMind Theory
ParaMind is the first of the generative brainstorming programs
written for the computer that goes beyond random word jumbling,
flow-charting, or asking the user questions relating to their subject. By
"generative" it is
meant a program that produces new ideas from your idea, not a program that
gives popular associations like a thesaurus or probes you with endless
questions. ParaMind is the result of long investigation into
how to create ideas by computer-human interaction, and ideas in its theory
can be shown going back hundreds of years in philosophy.
The largest problem
encountered is to get the computer to understand the complexity of word
relationships. Failure in this area produces output that isn't
grammatically correct, and if it is, the words are not in semantic context
with each other, so they don't make sense anyway. Further study
of word relationships in language usually doesn't produce interesting
software for anyone but a few universities, and these programs have
nothing to do with brainstorming. Also, anyone with recent experience
using Microsoft Word can see how inaccurate and annoying such features
can be, when the program tries to capitalize letters not meant to be
capitalized and points out "grammar errors" that aren't errors at all.
With ParaMind, the
user's work is always in context, and can be easily made grammatically
correct, with features such as a common replace function, when it is not.
All the Word Categories in ParaMind are reusable, so
you don't have to type in new categories each time you use ParaMind.
These are all faults found in other brainstorming programs.
ParaMind works by replacing only one or two
words in your idea-sentence with words that are the same part of speech and
even the same subject matter, tense, class, etc. You can then replace
another word in the sentence for even more new ideas. You take out a noun
to replace it with another noun, or you take out an adjective to replace
it with another adjective. You can do complex searches of the database to
locate related word chains to make new ideas appear fast and yet be
related to your subject matter.
If the user could predict the results, he wouldn't need
the program in the first place. With ParaMind, you can
select word categories that are configured to fit into your own sentences.
You scan through the word categories to see which category is best suited
for your ideas.
ParaMind is also geared for those who want a hard copy, or a paper
trail in their pursuit of their topic. No matter what idea you are after,
you can work with that idea by typing in some of your own word categories,
and then using the existing ParaMind categories to fill out the parts of
speech that aren't specific to your idea. It can expand grammatically any
idea with all its avenues, and you can make a hard copy to index that
exploration when you don't have a computer nearby.
ParaMind can also help the user just find one idea, and splice
that idea into pre-existing text, by using the "Replace Highlighted Word"
ParaMind is an editor that lets the reader
write out a entence or two of their idea and then expands that idea in
any direction desired by the choice of the Word Categories.
This is how ParaMind helps you brainstorm your ideas. You can add
your own Word Categories to the database with the simple "Category Add"
feature. ParaMind also provides hundreds of word categories which the
reader can merge into his sentences.
With ParaMind, you will be able to take an idea that was only a
sentence and in five minutes come up with pages of information related to
your idea. You can then easily export the ideas to your word processor
and edit and print the results.
Using ParaMind means using the hidden properties of words. It
means interacting words in ways never before thought of. The computer now
becomes a brainstorming tool that creates usable output, not just a file
cabinet or graphics tool. Now we are on the verge of using the computer as
a tool that helps anyone explore and expand ideas. ParaMind involves
learning a new technique to explore your ideas, and by learning this new
technique you learn a way to explore avenues that no one has ever thought
The merge routine concept in brainstorming was created to solve a
simple problem: if words are segments of thought, and our library equals
the interaction of these segments of thought, then how could more ideas be
generated? The answer is simply by working on new interactions of words.
The merge technique is ultimately the primary technique for re-
interacting words with each other.
To merge simply means uniting or combining things. The merge
concept of thinking is possibly one of our next major ideas.
If our dictionary is a collection of words which are the units of
ideas, and our library contains the contents of the dictionary organized
in different intelligible ways, then there could be more books written
which would simply be our dictionary's words organized in different
intelligible ways. By working with the interactions of words we can find
all manner of new ideas if we simple exhaust the interactions of words in
ways that make sense.
We can further illustrate this with the fact that some floppy disc
drive terminology was already present with us when Edison invented the
phonograph. At that time someone could logically have seen the idea of
the personal computer. We are of the opinion that in some sweep of
imagination some brave soul stood forth and said, "You know, one day they
will be able to write books on that thing, and have the rolls play back
the books and move a mechanism that writes their contents on paper!"
The ideas frequently come many decades before the fact. And the
new ideas can almost always be stated in words from our own dictionary (or
in combinations of the old parts of words such as suffixes and prefixes).
With the program of ParaMind, creative individuals, whether they be
scientists, teachers, artists, business executives or social workers, can
now start to seriously experiment with thinking augmented by their computer's power. Since all future ideas are represented by language, it could be said that by sophisticated new uses of language we will be able to find these
This is where linguistic knowledge comes in. Linguistics is simply the science of
language. We must be able to use linguistic rules to even get at sentences
that make sense, let alone have any value. The easiest way to do this in
computer brainstorming with the merge concept. The merge concept in brainstorming
allows us to produce volumes of meaningful and grammatically correct
output (with simple efficient editing where needed).
ParaMind can also be used by scientists at any level because
can be typed onto the editor and the word categories can contain anything
as well. Symbol, word, phrase, or number; anything that can be typed can
be stored and re-used. ParaMind becomes a spreadsheet for ideas.
ParaMind can do more for the deeply creative thinker than any other
brainstorming product on the market. It will also provide brainstorming on
ideas for making money, engineering, business planning, or anything else.
The thinker without ParaMind is stuck at the thinking speed of
their own associations. They may have a library of books to help them,
maybe even a CD-Rom and a modem on their computer, but they are still
restricted to how fast they can type or how fast they can talk into a tape
recorder. That is it.
Higher speeds of association are now possible because now we have
the copy-merge concept of brainstorming. For instance, one scientist could
merge together concepts in such sciences as electronics, industrial
engineering, botany, and organic chemistry to form a totally new approach
to supplying the needs of a technologically advanced society. Through
skill in ParaMind we may arrive at these sciences in a few decades,
totally saving us from any further degradation of the natural environment.
Today, with the computer, we can discover new and
un-named concepts but only if creativity shows us how. A new idea must first at least be named -- and that is a most important step. ParaMind
helps the user by augmenting their ideas with possible idea developments. Everything in ParaMind is customizable therefore its limits are only
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