Notes and Thoughts

The journey from raw thoughts to blogposts


Write so your future self can remember

One thing that I have found on my own, writing dozens of essays on my own blog – Knowledge Continuum – is to always write with keeping your future self in mind, who is sure to forget it. So it must always have a very low ramp-up time to start and recollect/understand the entire thing once someone starts reading it. Things that help accomplish that include:

  • Keep it as self-contained as possible
  • Introduce visual aids like expository diagrams
  • Try maintaining a conversational tone throughout the essay. (From Paul Graham's Write Like You Talk
  • Try maintaining an overall narrative instead of going into sectional/subsectional narratives
  • Incorporate Cultural artefacts to improve the resonance and life expectancy of your writingCultural artefacts to improve the resonance and life expectancy of your writing
    Cultural additions like one's philosophical inclinations, directed social interactions through common social artefacts, etc can add personal touch to the essays,which not only elevates the engagement but also the life expectancy of an essay. Take any essay by Orwell from As I Please during his time in The Tribune, or his other essays.

    Example: Apart from the quirky and chirpy a...
  • Related to the previous point, imitate someone whose work you like. The sincere admiration can help with the remembrance. Related: Sincere imitation is authenticSincere imitation is authentic
    William Morris, one of the pioneers of modern design, proposed a layered definition of authenticity based on expressivity, nominality, sincerity, and integrity instead of a simple originalism based view(comes from Greek).

    I don't know if I am right in counting his contribution as relevant to modern design as he was primarily a medievalist(who was against the industrial revolution), but it definitely looks like he has had a significant impact on the aesthetic details of the industrial era's m...