Isaac Asimov’s “The Eureka Phenomena” is a reflection of the power of involuntary thinking. We tend to think we must out the most effort in trying to solve a problem to succeed. Lots of the time the brightest ideas when we least expect it, like Isaac Asimov said, “the solution will then come when you think you’re not thinking”
This essay also talks about scientific community and how it tends to not report products of involuntary thoughts even if they are correct. This camouflages the fact scientific discovery is harmful and not at all faithful to what science is really all about. As scientists and engineers, they feel ashamed to admit and idea is the product of a guess, since were led to believe that every step along the way must obey reason and pure logic. Asimov lists many examples in the history of science to argue against this. One can think of other examples: Einstein, john Nash, Isaac newton, so on and so on.
Isaac Asimov is confirming the fact that you do have your best thoughts in the shower. Asimov tells us how king Archimedes invented a way to precisely measure the volume of an object. Archimedes was given a new crow and he wanted to make sure the crown in fully gold and not a single percent in copper. Archimedes thought long and hard then while in the public baths he noticed how the water would overflow then he got in. the water levels would rise by an amount equal to the volume of the crown, and that volume of water would pour out the overflow and be caught in a small vessel.
I like to believe I’ve had my best ideas at 3am when I’m half asleep or when I’m in the middle of something and I have to drop everything I’m doing just to write it down so I won’t forget. Who knows, random 3 am thought can turn into life changing. It’s a shamed some people don’t put a second thought into their own eureka.