We're all guilty of it, my self included. We get an idea that gives off such an emotional charge that we begin to lose our scientific objectivity. I believe, (and I'd like to know what you think) that it can be a good thing to be irrational, to work through it, provided that you know and that you inform people that you are being irrational. Usually I can tell when I have an irrational thought, I admit to myself that it has no legs to stand on, but it won't leave my head. And sometimes I like to rant and rave. As long as I openly admit to pursuing an groundless train of thought, how can it be a bad thing to work through it?
Some of the greatest ideas and inventions known to mankind came about purely by accident. It just occurred to somebody, and people agreed. How many of these came from completely groundless, baseless, and irrational streams of nonsense, bubbling up from a person's ego or id, to use the Freudian concept.
It becomes dangerous and immoral to be irrational when you either refuse to admit it, or intentionally try to hide it. Again, I'm guilty of this on occasion. I tend to think a lot. Most of my waking day is spent pondering and attempting to step through one line of reasoning or another. It's one of my favorite things to do. I hit a lot of dead ends, but sometimes I think, "I can get around this, this can work, it's just a matter of figuring out how." I then have to admit to myself that I'm being crazy, but if it's possible, maybe it can work.
What about you? What is your input on being honestly irrational?
I had an idea to power a liquid cooling system for my computer using a Boyle's flask, aka a capillary bowl. For those that don't know, a Boyle's flask is a perpetual motion machine consisting of a tank or reservoir with a hose leading out of the bottom, and up above the top of reservoir, using the capillary action of the liquid to pull the liquid through the tube, and refill the reservoir indefinitely. My reasoning, admittedly irrational, was that even though a perpetual motion machine can only produce enough energy to power itself, and only if it's 100% efficient, this particular pm machine could be used to draw heat out of a cpu, and even run through a radiator to cool the liquid before allowing it to drain out. I was trying to see if there was an infallible, or at least nigh infallible pump that could be used to run the system. The problem with a regular Boyle's flask, is that it won't run indefinitely. It will run long enough to impress a party, but eventually it will slow down and stop.
I even thought about making it a closed system, with the reservoir having an air bubble and a one way valve at the top where it drains back in, and using a simple bulb pump to increase the air pressure in the reservoir to force the liquid through the system, without having to have a powered pump.
The reason I followed this line of thinking is because I'm lazy, and the only thing keeping me from getting a LC system for my computer is the prospect of having to replace the pump every six months or so, because that seems to be the average lifespan of the ones on the market. Ticks me off to be honest, because the only way for my design to actually work would be to have a way of unbalancing the pressure in the system so that it always wants to move into the lower pressure area, and when the low pressure area gets too full, it passes the liquid back into the high pressure area, without taking any of the pressure. And there's no way that I can see to make that happen.