Jason (jcreed) wrote,
Jason
jcreed

So rjmccall hacked up this little self-contained wiki, and I've been having a lot of fun lately using it to record a lot of the "dark matter" of my day-to-day thinking, stuff that's either beneath the radar of livejournal in terms of public interestingness, or too private for public broadcast.

It's sort of just an experiment in free writing, except the node structure of the wiki makes me feel really unihibited about veering off onto tangents, because I know I can return to the point of departure at a later time and still feel that the whole structure is somewhat organized and clean: no piece of text exists in the system without being associated with some topic or theme or something.

There have been, I'm sure, an enormous number of cases in my life as, well, a compulsively thinking person, when I've wanted to have different words for things. Often just wanting fresh words, ones that denote just a subset or a slight variation of an existing one, just to efficiently be that little smidgen more precise. This is something I do with wild abandon in mathematics; inventing (anywhere from mildly to radically) new notation for things is perfectly ordinary, especially if it's just for your own notes to yourself. Certainly one can coin jargon even in the "soft" sciences. But I'm amazed how refreshing it feels to "let myself go" and indulge the mathematically-inspired desire (in this more natural-language context of analytic writing) to make definitions all over the place, putting short labels to all the concepts that keep reappearing. And I don't need to worry about the names being terribly good, because they're just for my own mental bookkeeping.
Tags: wiki, writing
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