Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Haiku - off on a tangent

LeBret Saskatchewan
A tangent is a mathematical term, meaning a line or plane that touches a curved surface but doesn’t intersect it. The non-mathematical meaning of tangent comes from this sense of barely touching something: when a conversation (or day-dreaming) heads off on a tangent, it’s hard to see how or why it came up.

Sometimes the most brilliant, break-through ideas appear out of nowhere when people are trying to solve a problem by combining unrelated concepts (eg. found haiku such as ‘disruptive new stuff’ and ‘ecological footprint’) and somebody’s thoughts go off on a tangent – this is the concept behind ‘brainstorming’ (and day-dreaming if there's only one person involved) and it has resulted in a lot of spectacular-sounding new ideas, a tiny percentage of which are actually useful.