I’ve been on Medium since 2016, a certified old timer. But that means some of my best work is buried in search results. Here are links to the good stuff:
Focus: On Forests and Trees | Kant’s Categorical Framework, told…
It was a summer of adventures and some fascinating insights. Today was to be the last installment. The itinerary: a lake, a fishing boat, and the old man’s final thoughts on their favorite topic: Immanuel Kant.
The boat ride itself was not unusual for this trio. Both the old man and the boy were seasoned fishermen, the dog a loyal companion. The old man’s small craft, strangely dubbed the A-Priori, was sturdy and lake-worthy. So the dog piled in first without prompting, and the rest followed, claiming their familiar seats. …
It was starting to make sense. By now, the old man and the boy had grown excited about the possibilities unfolding in front of them. Step by step, they were using nature to navigate Immanuel Kant’s 300-year old model for knowledge.
Today brought them to a mountain river, the perfect setting for their next encounter. The boy was early. The dog, as always, was glad to tag along. …
Sonja Blignaut recently asked on Twitter — I hope not rhetorically — if there were non-academic, non-theoretical words that could describe the vast and generally difficult space that we know best as complexity.
Here’s what I offered her:
Complexity is the dance of nature, where connectedness and initial conditions shape what’s possible; patterns emerge; simple rules guide our choices; but in the end, the myriad, incremental changes of the world flow at their own pace, in their own way, leaving us to concede at last: control is an illusion.
Do you have your own perspective? Please share. …
The writers at Just Curious are a team of collaborators, working to produce interesting and insightful content. Our challenge is to create and sustain focus. On the web, the attention span of readers can be short, generally 3 minutes or less, topping out around 750 words. So we’re looking for highly-focused writing with a minimalist approach, to bring the big ideas to our readers in bite-sized packages. Brevity will be our guidepost.
This approach may not work for everyone, but there are hidden opportunities. Consider the chance to:
Finally, I always, always, always, outline. Some kind of outline is vital for writing articles.
David R Gwyn
Ah yes, the outline. It's a bit old school, but how many hours have we all wasted chasing rabbit trails when a good outline might have helped? I think this is especially true in long-form fiction. I read somewhere that our readers want our rabbit trails to be relevant. No good wasting their time, either!
To be fair, there is creativity and discovery to be had on rabbit trails, especially on early drafts. So I don't see rabbit trails as a hard "no" to be cordoned off with police tape. But sometimes we need to budget our dalliance.
Trick for me? How much, and when?
Great post, David. Glad to see the WC still going strong (it's where I cut my teeth on Medium!)
Is it bad that I hadn’t heard of Marcus Aurelius before 2020?
I'd say no, since Marcus A hasn't been trending lately. But I agree he is legend, among those who track such things.
And his ideas are still useful today. Less is absolutely more.
See also Lao Tzu on this theme.
And Em, I LOVE you're writing, but it won't be the first time I've shared. If I recall, you had me at Friends. But that was so last month :)
My new pub JUST CURIOUS is just getting started. It’s late April 2021, and I’m reaching out to potential contributors. What a great time to connect, and to compare notes. Respond to posts that resonate, and drop me a line. You’ll also find me on Twitter and Instagram, a…
Lot's of talk lately about the most recent changes at Medium, and the implications. Meantime, I'm starting a new Medium pub, reaching out as we speak to potential contributors who share a curious bent. Bold? Crazy?
No. I prefer to think of it as smart.
I don’t look back, because I’m not going that way. I look forward, to what’s possible. And I’m open to new perspectives.
For me, those who started social platforms like Twitter and Medium - people like Ev, Jack and Biz - were absolutely onto something. So what if innovative social platforms don't fit in a…
The sun had already descended below the tree line. Normally the adventuresome trio would have spent their evening on the porch swing, ruminating on the day’s hike. But today, the old man and the boy were busy collecting kindling for tonight’s campfire, already in progress. As always, the dog happily supervised.
Fresh tinder quickly nurtured the flame, as a wispy line of smoke rose into the canopy of tree branches above them. The boy and old man settled into their camp chairs, sipping hot cocoa as they stared into the fire.
It had been weeks since their discussion of trees…