Monday, December 8, 2008

On connecting to Action

Oh my aching body! So maybe it wasn't food poisoning. Mayhaps I am simply sick. Again.

I was thinking about connecting good ideas and visions to concrete action. Implementation.

How do you write? You get an idea, you put in on paper, and...
... to me, it's become a series of Whats and Hows. Like html v. content. Like, What's the idea? Ok, now How do I explain that, write it, argue it? The Hows are necessarily simple, and they in turn become the What for the next level down.

One I really liked, came up earlier. Working with A on this paper, not even that long, just a beast anyways - on humanitarianism, old and new, in the context of Kosovo. Supposed to be 10 pages (10 or more? well, that's what I thought)... we currently stand at 17. Shoot. A: "We need to trim this down to 10." Me: What's wrong with a few extra pages? We've got a lot to say. Not quite what I said. But, I didn't take it particularly well. Thinking... because I saw us hacking off like 40% of a paper. What, how. What - we have to trim this down. How - go paragraph by paragraph, improving, consisifyin', and rationalizing. Once I made that connection, it worked.

On Reading. I feel like my personal reading has not had the rigor, nor provided the intellectual stimulation, that I am looking for. Comparing this to some of the classes I've had (the good ones!), I realized I was missing the purpose of the reads. Like, if I'm simply curious about Aristotle, diving directly into Poetics may or may not lead me anywhere. Wikipedia might be a good starting place, though. Because, without the purpose of the read - its context, its import - I risk reading it in a vaccuum and that is certainly not how it was written.

This last leads me to my search for a geneaology of ideas. I discovered the Archeology of Knowledge, plan to look that up. Perhaps it will help... Also found the History of Knowledge. I feel like with the aid of such a tool, I will be able to 'design' mini-courses of reading for myself and actually build something up.

reading to learn, improve

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