Writing to Whom

It’s a little after 11am on a workday, and I’m seated on my leather couch with the familiar tension that regularly pulls at my insides. Beyond the computer screen perched on my legs lies the San Francisco city scape outside my broad windows. A pearly heather sky, lifeless and cold, outlines the pale glass skyscrapers outside, while the capitol’s gilded steeple peaks from behind in the distance.

The daily habit of writing has yet again eluded my attention, further compounding my internal grief that my routines are not molding my character into the being I idealize in my reflective moments.

What has life been recently?

I traveled to Denmark with my girlfriend for about 11 days, visiting London and Sweden briefly in between, exploring the city during the day, and watching her perform at the Royal Danish Ballet opening night. The trip itself was fine, less the raging cold I acquired in the final days, and the tumultuous arguing that seemed to persist for some reason or another between my girlfriend and I, though I can rarely explain why these conflicts occur, other than some chemical aggravation between our constitutions, betwixt with repressed trauma which resurfaces due to some unknown event when our personalities collide.

Other than that, work, as per usual, has consumed my focus. But upon my return, a general listlessness found its way into me, and the enthusiasm to devote my being to the pursuit of business success eluded my general desire to get back on track.

And so I surrendered to these feelings, and retreated into my books, and have been reading at a steady clip since my return on November 3rd.

My general attitude is one of existential confusion and self-loathing: what will I amount to? Have I amounted to anything that I find respectable? Depending on my magnanimity of the day, I teeter between feeling blessed and being totally disappointed.

Who I am? What is my value? Have I arrived? Is this the path that I was destined to be on? Or is this path still unfolding in ways that escape my imagination?

As it is now, I find my overall circumstances contemptible. I’ve become the thing I’ve loathed most: a corporate automaton, a slave to money, debt ridden, generally anxious, physically exhausted most days.

The only hobbies which seem to provide a glimmer of inspiration to the monotonous routine of life– a routine which I have often aspired for, to place me on stable footing, necessary for the organization of self– are reading my books, which continually pile up beyond the book cases and window sills in stacks of every corner of the room.

Like an impoverished hoarder, I carry at least three books with me wherever I go, just in case my interest in one book peaks over another, and I have the option of capturing that wonder and connecting the dots to some unrealized epiphany, which may strike and reverberate in my depths as some divine insight, only to be cherished by the company of myself.

And so this is what grieves me about my lackadaisical and undisciplined writing efforts.

I have not created anything worthwhile in my life. Accomplishments seems so transitory, and the only creations I feel worthwhile are the enduring works of ideas, translated in writing or similar forms of expression.

But I am a horribly undisciplined writer. Much less anything else. The ability to work from home and mind my own schedule, without the micromanagement of superiors, is the only grace which shrouds the reality of my undisciplined mind from others, which resembles a scattered mania.

Focus in the general sense, in the conventional sense, in the sense that can be called upon at will for any important matter or task worth the attention, is not something I possess. Not whatsoever.

Hyper-focus is what I possess, for better or worse, though I believe it’s for worse. What differentiates these two types of mental exactitudes is the the ability that I can control them.

Focus is an ability, for sure. An important task requires attention, perhaps prolonged attention, and the executive functions of the mind tune in and perform the necessary steps until completion.

Hyper-focus, on the other hand, is something that appears beyond my control, a reflex to internal or external stimulation, a response to something that captures and enrapts my imagination, so that I’m left helplessly consumed, with the total resources of my being devoted to indulging this wonder. It’s the highest form of pleasure, an almost spiritual submersion, recruiting the whole of my faculties to the object of my attention, at the expense of everything beyond this narrow beam of energy. Friends and girlfriends alike feel sidelined and excluded from these preoccupations, which they are, save the rote performances I’ve developed to stave off their claims of my neglect.

I can hyperfocus. It’s a gift, and a curse.

Where it’s a curse is the discontinuity which it produces. I am either in, or I’m out. My mind resonates completely with harmony, or it exists as a discordant confusion of randomized attention, resulting in a feeling of drowning helplessness.

If I could leverage the ability to focus at will with the concentration of hyperfocus on whatever task I chose, my life would possess much more discipline.

Historically, I’ve relied on external measures to produce a structure to frame habits conducive to generating hyper-focus at will, the only focus I seem to have at my disposal. Such measures include obligations to others, which produce an accountability that my self-reputation feverishly upholds, stimulants, such as caffeine or amphetamines, and a general schedule. The latter only seems to work, however, if there are others involved. Self-disciplined schedules work if other’s are apart of these plans, or if there is absolutely no one else I need to be accountable to. Anything in between doesn’t seem to be effective.

All that’s to say, I do not believe it’s beyond my ability to develop habits. The germinating desire for disciplined routine is there, but anchoring it requires some time of action which I can make a repetitive part of my daily life.

I must write more often.

I find myself reflecting all the time, lost in the images lifted from the narratives of my books on philosophy or history and the like. They fill my mind, and I want to expunge them, and I tell myself “I will write as soon as I wake” or “I will write these thoughts out tonight”, and later I find myself staring at my journal and laptop, asking myself where I should even start such as task. “What do I want to say?” Anything!

I have these dreams of writing long formed essays, dreams of constructing thoughtful analysis on the books I’m reading. This, I tell myself, will clarify the contents of my knowledge, and anchor it deep within my soul. Why read to pass time? I am not reading to escape (or perhaps I am), I am not reading to forget, I am reading to remember, so what does it take to remember?

Reflecting or ruminating (to chew) on the contents is the first step. Perhaps discourse with other minds is the next step, talking out ideas, trying to articulate the logic of concepts and themes. The ultimate demonstration of knowledge is the ability to write it out, which encodes a syntactical logic to the order in which the knowledge is built upon. Drawing diagrams is perhaps an intermediate step in understanding, and perhaps the most abstract effort to connect the ideas into a cohesive comprehensive whole.

I must write, however. I must summarize and synthesize what I know, and what I’m reading.

And I must not censor myself, my thoughts. They must pour from me authentically, without self degradation of their merit or value. It’s an exercise, I must remember, an exercise of discipline, an exercise of production.

I should decide to write for someone, other than myself. This audience should be able to understand my writing in a way that is relatable and understandable. Writing for myself, as if I’m the only one who needs to understand it, seems a bit lunacy, in the same way talking to myself does.

Journaling is certainly not meant for anyone else but myself, but if it’s not legible, if its not comprehensible, relatable, readable, what use is it? Am I developing my skills in communication? Are my ideas any more clear, any more real?

There is no personal knowledge. This is something I am certain of.

There are instincts and intuitions, but knowledge is a social byproduct, an agreement about the world and the contents of the world, the structure of the world. It needs to be corroborated, and equally understood by the audience you’re addressing. Otherwise it’s baseless, and possesses no utility, no value, except perhaps as artistic expression, which may or may not be universally appreciated, and only resembles frustrated physic energies.

I’m reading a few books. I have many books piled up everywhere. My girlfriend has gracefully resigned herself to refrain from commenting on this eclectic quirk of mine as more and more books find their way into our home. It’s who I am, and even if I could help it, I wouldn’t want to. I’m sure there’s a limit to the number of books I should own, until it resembles some comic hoarders den, and we are crushed by toppling towers of books. But I haven’t found that limit, and I’d rather not entertain what it might be.

So, what should I write? I should pick a topic, a subject, or something worth extrapolating on. Should I write a book summary? Should I write an analysis? Perhaps a synthesis of ideas? Or perhaps I just write whatever flows from my fingers, and capture whatever breath of thought exhales onto the pages?

Distractions are the devil. If purity of thought, if concentration of mind, produces the light which illuminates the world, and produces order out of the chaos of problems and challenges inhibiting the realization of every ideal, desire, goal, or aim, than any impetus that would draw away from that concentration is bad, and to the extent it seduces us away from these ideals, evil.

The world is filled with distractions masquerading as worthwhile knowledge or wisdom. I’m grateful in some respect to the exposure this has produced in my conception of a broad world, but the bite sized messages lack a cohesive quality, and it’s overly fragmented. There are many feeds feigning for attention, many gurus, many media outlets insisting on the attention of an important news highlight in some realm, be it politics, technology, environment, business and the like.

The information and knowledge and wisdom comes in waves, crashing at the windows of awareness, only to recede into the ocean of noise until another wave crashes. This perpetual cycle of media feed, the consumption of endless bits and bytes of information, apparently relevant to some aspect of my existence, continues endlessly. We’ve had these media feeds for well over a decade in their modern form as social media, where opting into the onslaught of information is tacit. Previously, we could selectively choose the content and quantity of our media, schedule time for the news and gossip. Now, it’s all pervasive, at our fingertips, intruding wherever we go.

And attention, focus, concentration, and the purity of thought produced by this vigilant vision, is compromised, and reduced to a schizophrenic mania.

What are we connected to? To whom are we connected?

I’m reading Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities. I’m about eight chapters in. I’m not sure I completely agree with his historical analysis of the sociological development of nationality, although the mechanisms of development seem intuitively correct.

I’m also reading The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. This books reminds me of Simple Lies, Vital Truths by Daniel Golemen, which outlines the psychological mechanisms of self-deception.

I’m also reading Self and Others by N. GRegory Mailton, M.D., which propounds on the psychoanalytic discipline of Object Relations Theory, which appears to draw quite a bit of inspiration from John Bowlby’s work on Attachment Theory.

In addition, I’m finishing up a primer on German history, titled The Shortest History of Germany by James Hawes. It’s a quite unsatisfactory overview of central European history, but it’s written fairly well, and provides a basic frame of reference to my otherwise complete void of German history knowledge.

I purchased The Last Lion by William Manchester, which is probably the most complete biography of William Churchill ever written. It’s a voluminous three book set. In an effort to quicken the read, I’ve also purchased the audible versions, with each book coming it at over 40 hours of listening.

I’m half way through The Art of Memory by Frances Yates, and a quarter of the way through Logic and the Art of Memory by Paolo Rossi, both excellent historical accounts on the subject of memory.

It’s 12:21pm, and I’ve done less than an hour of work since I woke at 6:30pm. I should probably begin my work day, which means sending out emails, phoning customers, arranging meetings, and the like. I have a phone meeting with my manager at 1pm, so I should prepare for that as well.

I’ll be heading to Florida to visit my family on a 11pm red-eye on Wednesday night to spend Thanksgiving with them, and return at 11am Monday morning.

I signed up for a half marathon in Zion National Park on February 29th three weeks ago, and I’ve only run four or five days in preparation. I’m not at all prepared to run 13.1 miles, but I am committed to running the race, so I should definitely begin training immediately, without excuse. And I may be running a Thanksgiving 5k, which my family may or may not have signed me up for.

My girlfriend will be working and rehearsing during Thanksgiving, so she won’t be coming with me. My sister had my nephew a couple weeks ago, and my grandparents will be moving back to New Jersey from Naples in the new year, so it’s family time that will be well spent.

I promise I will write more.

Morning Rambings

Is it okay not to be okay?

I grew up thinking life was some status stream that I gradually got permission to begin swimming in.

That somewhere, out there, the doors of adulthood were waiting to be opened, and I could soon participate in this theater of life.

Meanwhile this stream of life, this world stage filled with adults acting their parts, that I anxiously idealized has never materialized.

I’m not sure what dreams or whose dreams I’ve internalized, but they don’t appear to map onto the the world.

There’s this social reality that envelops the whole of my experience, as if it paints the canopy at the farthest reaches of my awareness, giving life an insular feeling of familiarity. There are in fact many of these social realities, depending on where I cast my attention, which preoccupation or niche fills interest.

This social reality is defined by all these narratives. Call them bubbles. Social bubbles, of different size and quality.

There’s a history to these bubbles. Political and professional. And a progressive evolution that almost escapes the eye.

The ideas permeate these social realities and percolate throughout the narratives, destroying and marginalizing some, synthesizing others into a unified bubble.

All the while things change.

My personal reality, derived from these bubbles, is constantly refreshing, or should be.

Often it doesn’t. Often these bubbles remain static, like stained glass, frozen in beautiful color, trapped in time.

Survival. What does it mean to survive?

Paying bills, having babies, creating something. Maybe the world rewards you for this, maybe it doesn’t.

I wake up and I wonder what history will say about these moments, these years. How much will be retained and recast in the future narrative of the world and it’s victors, it’s champions, and how much will be forgotten? And how many times we will have to repeat history before we learn from our errors in judgement. Is there progress? Or there there an eternal return? A repeating cycle? Or is this the zenith of progress?

Are we at a turning point in history?

Are our dreams OUR dreams? Or were they peddled to us? How much of myself do I own? How much did my family raise me, and how much did my culture raise me? And how much independent liberty did I take to raise myself?

Is this the zenith of living?

Are we here?

Is this the stuff dreams are made of?

I wonder if there’s a social reality that ever satisfies humanity.

But I think there is. It’s one with purpose. And I believe it’s social purpose, something beyond ourselves.

God? Nation? The enemies abroad? Is it spiritual development?

Some cause, some unifying purpose.

I feel we are a culture without a cause.

Or causes that are bankrupt. Material causes and purposes seem empty.

What to die for? What is worth dying for? Do we as a culture believe in anything worth dying for? Relativism.

History… there’s an arch, a subtle trajectory to the fate of nations. I wonder where we’re at on the arc.

Imagined Communities and Psychological Formation

Currently reading Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson. Five chapters in. Phenomenally insightful book. Anderson’s analysis is both scholarly and creative. He possesses a profound sense of history, and is able to weave and synthesize complex ideas and patterns almost effortlessly. It’s a genuinely exciting read. One that wants to keep you reading.

Have you read the book The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion by Peter Berger?

I couldn’t help but feel the same when I read that book. Like a veil has been lifted. There are some books that seem to describe phenomena so intuitively that they seem to reveal profound insights about the world, insights which you possess but never had the tools to express.

Because religion plays such a central role in Arnold’s analysis, I’d recommend reading Berger, if you haven’t already.

I’ve read some of Durkiem and Weber. But for some reason the ideas and concepts of their work resonated more than the narratives that they wrote. Same for Marx and Bourdieu. Perhaps too technical or dry. Or perhaps I just need to work on my reading stamina.

But there are a few sociologists who’s writing immediately resonates: Peter Berger, Thomas Luckmann, Thorstein Veblen and Georg Simmel.

I don’t have a background in sociology, so I feel like I don’t have the holistic framework for evaluating the merits of a works contribution to the subject.

When I read Anderson’s book, I feel like it’s nested within a theme of ideas.

Wittgenstein seems to provide the most meta description of community development, through his pragmatic analysis of linguistics.

Berger and Luckmanns book The Social Construction of Reality seems to take this analysis and apply it to the sociological world, and illustrate how the process of linguistic cooperation creates shares realities, ie mutual cosmologies.

Berger’s book The Sacred Canopy applies this analysis to Religion, or at least uses religion as the archetype for prototypical community formation.

Mercea Eliade’s book The Sacred and The Profane provides anthropological insights into the limits or boundaries of religious experience, which I feel illuminates the mechanism for religion’s world building effects.

And now, Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities is giving a framework for secular community or institutional development, cosmological implications. It’s really enlightening. Especially his analysis of religion/divinity and state, and the mechanisms of divergence of the two, which gave rise to a notion of nationalism for the first time, a cosmological identity which is secular.

I’m still reading, and there’s a lot I find myself going back to, but it’s just a fascinating historical journey…

Individual identity. Communities. National identity.

I also can’t help but think of Mark Granovetter’s work on “The strength of weak ties” and embeddedness, which coincides with Georg Simmel’s ideas on social geometry.

Embodied Pleiotropy and Cognition

Pleitropy is an interesting concept: How a single gene/mutation has distributed effects in the organism.

Difficult to conceive of the complexity of evolution that would ensure organism fitness through single mutations.

Illustrates how single genes are responsible for networks of functioning. Isolating a single gene function presents difficulties.

Genes operate within a symphony of interdependent networks.

Changes in genes impact not only the distributed network of processes it expresses, but concurrent networks within the organism, which in turn effect the functioning of that genes effects.

Genes are embodied.

You can imagine the parallels to embodied cognition, and the concurrent distributed network of cognitive processes that give rise to emergent conscious phenomena.

I think a central takeaway of embodied cognition is that the phenomenal “self” can be reduced to ego. And ego is an adaptive survival mechanism. But self/ego doesn’t actually exist. It’s just a reflexive process that accumulates through habituation, habits which we identify as self .

Cognitive theories struggle to account for the mechanism of sentience because they haven’t accounted for the mechanism of ego, the very mechanism which allows the cognition to adapt to novelty and change and persist, which follows a path dependency because of habituated cognitive processes.

Reflexive in the sense that the organism and world are not separate entities, but interdependent, working on each other. When the organism changes, the life world changes, when the life world changes, the organism changes. The external world is not pregiven, and cannot be represented as an accurate ideal of what is, because the organism essentially defines the world.

This, along with the fact that the reflexive relationship between the organism and world is actually comprised by not one “conscious process”, but regulated by distributed layers of concurrent networks possessing this reflexive embodied relationship with the life world.

You can conceive of these networks as individual communities of builders or societies of agents working amongst themselves and/or with other communities of builders. It is an ecology or economy of builders. They do not exist independently, but they do not exist as one whole.

The process of developing cognitive structures is as fundamental as the cognitive structures themselves, because there is an inter-action among them and with the life world of lived experience as they develop and evolve.

Meditative Phenomenon

I had an interesting experience while doing some meditation today.

Typically meditation is just an observance of thoughts. Surveying the percolating mental contents that arise moment to moment, coupled with reflection to identify the source of these thoughts. But mostly just letting thoughts and feelings wash over and through me, and opening myself to the moment. Relaxing. Releasing physical and mental tension.

However, I’ve been giving a lot more thought to the phenomenal conscious experience, inspired by recent readings.

I was closing my eyes, aware of my breathing tempo, and observing my thoughts. But I became acutely aware of my sensations.

Not just their existence, but their source.

This conscious experience is permeated with sensational qualities. The five senses color every thought, imbuing conscious experience with this texture that I take for granted. These senses are atomized as “pre given”. They just appear.

But I began to reflect on their source.

My eyes are closed, and yet permeating my conscious awareness are sensations. They just are. In. On. Throughout. They almost sneak into the periphery. But then you go there, and they are not. They are no where.

Where is the source of sound? Not outside me, but in me? Where is the source of touch? Where does it begin to appear in my conscious awareness? Is there an edge I can peel up and look behind?

And so I sat there, and began a process of identifying these sensations, and observing their source. Or at least, attempting to.

This process of mindful observation resulted in a streaming recession of awareness. Not sleep. But into this bleeding edge of consciousness, where all my senses began to strip away, and almost unplug, which created a certain timelessness.

I kept reeling back and forth between this state, trying to stay “aware” or “conscious” while turning my reflective gaze back into this source, but each time I’d be flung into this event horizon.

I realized this is an interesting meditative exercise: observing the source.

If for no other reason than it facilitated this mind bending effect

Ideology and Identity

The ideological cosmology of religion is a powerful tool for transcending differences and creating a meta unity.

I suspect, on some level, differences in ideology are really differences in what is defined as sacred and profane. They demarcate the boundaries of experience, of what is to be explored, and what is to be forbidden. A population of groups with conflicting definitions threatens cosmological disintegration, which results in massive fear and violent reaction.

I’ve been reading about European history recently, and specifically the history of the North Sea, and consequently the origins of Great Britain starting with the invasion of the Romans in 43AD.

Civilization in general has been a fascination, and trying to understand how and why western civilization, beginning with the Babylonians, Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Greeks, and Romans, managed to continually enlarge their reach in ways that no other civilization had done before.

I’ve always had intuitions about the power of religion and the unique role of written language as a vehicle for absorbing tribes and communities into these nation states. When I first learned that the word religion means “to bind together again”, it stuck with me as being having a peculiar role in the formation of institutions, which in turn assimilate populations into an order and structure that serves as an identity.

And I’ve always suspected the fall of the Roman Empire was somehow linked to the decline of their religion. There’s a curious coincidence of secularism, and the fall of the Roman Empire.

What struck about the history of Britain was how conflicted this island had been from the arrival of the Romans, to about 1200AD. Invasions, immigrations, multi ethnic communities populating such a small island, and the enduring violence and bloodshed during that time is astounding.

There was a single central figure, however, King Alfred, who was the catalyst that seemed to rectify this disunity, and create a national identity.

What was most intriguing, was that King Alfred had visited Rome before he became king, and was fully christianized. Apart of this devotion was his potent emphasis on writing and recording history. He was a man of letters, and during his reign, he quite literally began to write the Historical narrative of Britain, which was inseparable from his mission to Christianize the country into a United whole, beginning with his Angle Saxon Chronicle.

Up until then, none of the other tribes had a written language with which to preserve their pagan religion. Some had primitive runes, but there was no literacy.

King Alfred not only introduced Christianity, but he used literacy as a means of recording the historical identity of Britain through his religious vision.

When you look at other countries at the time, such a Denmark, they have no written history. European History began with religion, began with the preservation of sacral text, of symbolism and rituals and rites contained therein. Prior to the introduction of literacy, history is merely an inquisition of piecing archeological fragments together. The narrative is applied retroactively.

Religion is cosmology, and cosmology is identity. Preserving this requires the introduction of a standardized common history which possesses continuity, a living memory.

Buildings and art are as much an expression of this cosmology as text, but text contains the logic that transcends the boundaries of immediate community.

Artificial Memory

I’m reading the book The Art of Memory by Frances Yates.

Memory is something we don’t think much about in contemporary society, but historically it was of paramount importance.

Artificial memory, or utilizing images within the mind’s spatiotemporal framework, was foundational for the development of civilization, and I dare say consciousness.

What’s interesting, is that buildings were constructed as a direct reflection of memory palaces, specifically temples and institutional buildings.

There was a methodological framework for constructing a good memory palace, which included proper dimensions, and “notae” or markers which signify loci for referencing memories, as well as the “imagines agentes” or striking symbolic images that represent “things” or “words”.

The pre-Socratics knew of these memory methods, but historians believe that these were derived from Egyptian formulations, but they were formalized by the Greeks and later the Romans, and revitalized in the Medieval period by the scholastics followed by the renaissance thinkers, but the disciplines of artificial memory methods seem to disappear soon thereafter, likely due to the advent of the printing press and the proliferation of text.

When architects of past built cathedrals or temples or government buildings, they deliberately constructed them as a reflection of an internal memory palace, and the values contained within.

This is a fascinating thought.

Physical Buildings were reflections of internal memory palaces, and the living memory of the enduring cultural values they sought to preserve.

Their dimensions, their sculptures, their ornamentations, all referenced the importance of retaining memory.

I think of modern architecture…. and how god ugly and plain and utilitarian they are, devoid of humanistic values, and what a pitiful example of a memory palace they are.

Moreover, from a linguistic development perspective, written script started out as iconography, literal images which the mind’s eye could place within a memory palace.

Images, and the symbolic power they possessed as a memory tool, were the foundations of thought, and sophisticated culture more generally.

What’s Important to note, is that for intellectuals of past who prized the role of memory, they made a strong distinction between memory and recollection.

With all the written information infused throughout our daily lives, Memory is an art that’s rarely practiced. Rarely emphasized in education. Rarely prized for its merits.

But until very recently, memory quite literally was a key ingredient to invention and discovery.

The trinity of man was: memory, understanding, and will.

Cicero’s books on rhetoric which contain the best remnants of the ancient art of memory were named “De Inventione”, and Aristotle wrote at length about the role of memory for creation.

A common definition of memory was “a thesaurus of inventions and of all parts of rhetoric”. The Latin root of thesaurus is “treasury” or “storehouse”. Memory is a storehouse for ideas, for images, of value.

I find this all fascinating.

Additionally, Platonists placed the most importance on memory. The idea of a memory palace and the utilization of images situated at loci within reveals their commitment to “forms” which reveal the highest truth.

Believing in the transmigration of the soul, they believed the life was a process of “remembering” universal truths which were forgotten at birth. These platonic forms are like Jungian archetypes, which reveal themselves through meditation.

The process of creating memories, of constructing internal worlds and memory palaces, is literally a meditative one. It is the process of quieting the mind, freeing oneself from extraneous distraction, and concentrating to affix vital truths and the images representing them within the interior palaces of the mind.

This tradition was manifested most plainly in monasteries and by monks.

I wish I could relay all the idiosyncratic details supporting all this, but you should read the book.

The discipline and art of memory is an almost spiritual enterprise, in that it deals with the formation of consciousness, of expanding internal worlds.

Learning, knowledge, wisdom…. these are impossible without a robust memory. And there is an explicit art of memory that’s existed since the dawn of civilization… and which I fear is losing its power.

Memory via internal palaces and images requires responsibility and self possession, a result of self discipline and mastery.

External images require none of this, and leave man dispossessed, and open to persuasion and influence.

Anyway. It’s all very interesting.

The Problem of Spatial Compression for Linear Signaling

What makes explaining ideas or concepts to people difficult, is that my internal “knowledge” world is a spatial or visual place.

So communicating ideas takes it from this spatial world of information, and translates it into a linear string.

Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed about how to accommodate this spatial idea, full of complex relationships, and flatten it into a linear message.

If you want someone else to inhabit this world of yours, communication is the tool is get this done.

But sometimes it’s like, where do you start?

Having a good understanding of the audience/interlocutor is incredibly helpful for framing proper context. But even then it’s difficult, especially if it’s a casual conversation.

I feel like to properly articulate ideas requires a 60 second buffer to examine the idea and compress it properly into a coherent string of logical relationships before you begin communicating.

Which is why I always prefer writing my ideas out, because to me it’s akin to sketching, fleshing out the contours and outlining the substance before drawing hardened lines around core ideas, erasing superfluous strokes, and shading and coloring where necessary. Properly writing out ideas is very much like drawing in this regard.

So speaking becomes increasingly difficult with the complexity of the idea. But the thing is, most significant ideas are situated in this spatial place. So to truly communicate the significance of where it’s situated consistently seems like an overwhelming task.

In fact, it makes me just not want to talk. I end up at a loss for words.

I think if my brain processed faster, I’d be able to optimize this compression and simplification process.

Like someone asks you something, or you’re talking about something, and as you speak you keep having to stop and mentally restart again and again because accommodating all the relevant information into a simple linear message seems to be overwhelming? It’s like compressing a 3D image into a 1D signal, whatever that means.

Does this make sense?