Jason (jcreed) wrote,

For a few minutes every night lately I've been going through my old paper notebooks and old files on the computer, and two things are becoming clear:

  • Good lord the habit of writing down apparently incidental thoughts is tremendously valuable. Maybe it's just me and the pleasure I derive from, in some small part, feeling that the passage of time isn't a creeping death chewing away at my past selves, but honestly I think I would be trapped in even more unproductive mental cycles than I already am if I didn't have the benefit of very concretely seeing myself having been in them.
  • The things that I wrote at the beginning of college and before are very different from things I wrote a couple of years ago. If I met freshman me, I think I would be annoyed a lot, albeit sympathetic. I found a bunch of stupidly written sentences of the form "omg u guys woundt it b grate if..." for ideas that were, like, mundane research projects in computer science in the early 70s. I still have so much catching up to do on so many fronts, but at least college (and especially grad school) taught me how to know what I don't know.

    But I had some thoughts a couple of years ago that today still seem actually interesting. It makes me want to follow up on them. It's possible it'll just take another few years for me to find them embarrassingly short-sighted, but somehow I feel like I'm making progress.


Actually, the frightening thing is that though I made obvious progress "growing up" intellectually between like 1998 and 2005, I've made disturbingly little since then. I keep finding earlier echoes of ideas that I thought I just had recently.
Tags: journals, notebooks, school

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