Little-brain Upgrade: Systems for Better Thinking and Writing

An everyday system, TM, is a simple, commonsense solution to an everyday problem, grounded by a pun or metaphor. Propose/discuss new systems here.
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Little-brain Upgrade: Systems for Better Thinking and Writing

Post by andrewemond » Tue Feb 14, 2023 1:28 am


Today I'm playing with strategies for turning ideas into polished writing. I believe all writing, intentional or not, is a bellwether for your thinking. It's also a courageous way to test yourself against other people's ideas and mettle. A few years back, I recall reading Steven Pinker's definition of good writing as something which makes you feel smart; on the other hand, he said bad writing makes you feel stupid. I thought this prescription a clever bit of advice.

Where do ideas come from?

I don't think anyone knows for sure, but I have a soddenly religious worldview. I'd just as likely answer God.

But how ideas are captured is less mysterious: you must hunt the big game by rassling with the big wide world. In short, you get ideas by talking with people and reading broadly. You engage, engage, engage.

So far here's how I've managed to control such a difficult beast:

1) I remedied (and still am) a somewhat collapsed NYC public education by forcing myself to read daily. I started small but consistently; I'm slow but fearless: I go after the big game and usually read hard books to balance my remedial speed (Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, KJV Bible etc). There's a naked admission from Steinbeck in the letters to his editor, where he's expressing embarrassment about his slow reading speed; he complains that he still needs to move his lips across the page. I find such a twiddly bit of biographical note to be heartwarming and encouraging.

To be continued tomorrow...

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Re: Little-brain Upgrade: Systems for Better Thinking and Writing

Post by reinhard » Tue Mar 28, 2023 4:22 pm

Sorry it's taking me a while to respond to this, but I will!

(in fairness, your "tomorrow" is taking a while, too) :-)

But no rush! We want to get this right and that takes some mulling.

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