jedi-rodent wrote:Hello All,
I'm just starting here on the XKCD fora, and have always been interested in science.
I'm not particularly good at math, but I do have interesting (at least to me) ideas, and sometimes, I would like to bounce them off smart people who are good at math but less imaginative. =)
I have sent emails to MIT, the Israeli University recently known for its experiments with quantum locking, whirlpool, etc, and never hear boo. I'm sure they are busy, but ideas are ideas, and at some point, I might come up with some that are actually worth something.
Mostly because the people at MIT are busy working with people who are
good at math, and who actually do
things with their ideas instead of emailing them at random to other people. What kind of a response are you expecting? These people are working on quantum physics, and you're sending them a vaguely defined idea about a microwave with a touchscreen?
Put together some money, find some like-minded people, and try to implement your ideas yourself. In the process, you'll find out why
the heads of major universities aren't dropping whatever it is they're doing to work on it with you.
Where do you guys (who don't work at a university) submit your ideas, or do you just try to patent them?
You can't really patent an idea. You could potentially patent actual plans for your idea provided that someone could use those plans to create whatever it is you're trying to patent; but you can't just patent "microwave with a camera in it" and expect to be taken seriously.
This. I've worked with my professors for the past four-ish years now, and I can tell you that they're very willing to
listen to and help out anyone who's laid out the groundwork before they've approached them. Most of the time the
work is related to some academic work, but still. Unless you have something to show, they're probably not going to care.
Imagine if I came up to you, telling you what a great idea I had and saying you should consider it, while you were
at work in the middle of something you need to be doing
. I doubt you'd respond very kindly. This is more or less
the same thing you're doing to the MIT professors. You have no proof on hand, just some wild idea which may or may
not be great.
On the other hand, if I came to up to you saying "Hey, I got this great idea. I've (or I got some people) to put together a
very basic prototype of what I have in mind. What do you think about this?" I'd imagine you'd still be a bit annoyed that
I bothered you while you were in the middle of work, but at least I wouldn't be pestering you to work on my idea. I have
a real example of a working (if primitive) solution. People like to results
. It doesn't have to be perfect, or even
good. But if you have nothing to show, people will be less likely to consider it. It's like this anywhere you go, as I imagine
you have already experienced. If you don't have anything to show for yourself, people are gonna ask themselves "And why
did we decide to hire/work with/etc you?"
Remember, you're not just asking them for input on your idea. You're asking them to take time from their day, and invest it in something.