Everything said has been said before

This is something sad to hear, yet much sadder to confirm its validity, again and again.

And again and again, I have told myself, that I am just a normal guy, as normal as most other people, quick or dead. Above 6 billion people in the earth at this moment, and, even 100 generations ago there lived great thinkers. I am sure every absurd ideas may have been said by at least one person, though some may be recorded and some not, some may have been tested and some not. Those original research papers, actually, may not be original, but replication, revision, update, or even copy of other people’s ideas. Only a few times we are really thrilled by the scientific discoveries and astounding new ideas.

So sometimes it may be the concrete work that counts. It’s good to have a great idea, but just like what Hillary said about Obama, it is action that really counts. So, publish your ideas, talk to the peers and the public, propagate your ideas, and make some changes. This is the way to secure the credit of the idea.

Like there was a time that I thought I had so many great ideas about stuttering. Now I see it in some rookie guy in our lab. When you first step into this field, and with your life-long experience and passion, you think you are already an expert and you have the destined duty to solve this problem– and it took me years to become a little bit humble on this point.

Now I have to learn how to tolerate others’ ignorant arrogance. Um, what a jackass I used to be… I just need to look at the new guy. And here is one of the ideas that I thought was great.

Have you ever visited the Three Gorges in the Yangtze River? Now there is a huge dam and everything has been changed, even when I visited it 10+ years ago, some permanent changes were already made. The government bombed the big rocks in the middle of the river in the 20th century. Before that, the big rocks in the river changed the torrent: it rushed and whirled and made the passage dangerous for every passing boat.

Stuttering is just like these rocks in the river. The rocks block the water, so the water has to change, and by nature it wants to crash down the rocks. So the water runs faster, tiding toward the rocks, and changes its course. If the rocks are small, they would be easily flushed away; but if they are big, they will be like the rocks in the Three Gorge that make the passage dangerous and dynamic. It’s just like a fight toward the rocks and the water.

But when the water just flows slowly, the passage will have no problem at all, and even the very existence of the rocks will not be noticed. The course will still have some change around the rocks, but the difference is only mild and evasive. This is similar why slowed speech generally ameliorates stuttering.

And maybe another solution is to dig out a canal as a supplementary channel. It is like that most stutterers don’t have problems when sing, so many of the vehicles will not have danger to pass that canal. Sometimes I wonder why I have not seen follow-up research of Gerald McGuire’s hypothesis of 2 speech loops, the one for spontaneous speech and the other for singing. For stuttering people, it is one route got damaged, but the other remains intact. And dopamine level infects the spontaneous speech route. Pagoclone is the medicine developed under this philosophy. Though early result does not indict high practical effect of the medicine, which, in my opinion, it may because of the complicity of human hormone system, the idea of 2 speech loots is fascinating to me, and I have seen some evidence of it. One extreme case is in a BBC documentary, a Japanese lady’s left half brain is totally dead, yet still she can utter emotional sing-song sounds, fluently.


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