Facts and ideas are dead in themselves and it is the imagination that gives life to them. But dreams and speculations are idle fantasies unless reason turns them to useful purpose. Vague ideas captured on flights of fancy have to be reduced to specific propositions and hypotheses. W. I. B. Beveridge
Quote above taken from: How Intuition and the Imagination Fuel Scientific Discovery and Creativity: A 1957 Guide. Good grief! Beveridge’s whole book, The art of scientific investigation (1957) is stored in the Internet Archive.
I am given to flights of fancy, I inherited the practice from my mother. I know, and probably she knew, them for what they were. Vague ideas, dreams and speculations. It was good to be brought up short with this quote, and the article it came from, that specific propositions CAN come out of dreams. I tend to bin my flights. But not always I guess.
Thanks to Julius who unknowingly pointed me to this article on the site Brain Pickings. Just a mo while I bookmark.