There’s a video here of a speech by Simon Collison that skirts along some thoughts I’ve had about my working process, and my approach to knowledge.
Basically, I’m mostly about breadth, not depth – I know a little about a lot, and not too much else. This makes me a fantastic party conversationalist, but a terrible writer.
The shallowness of my tapas knowledge frustrates me, and yet really it is a matter of commitment behind all this. This is what truly makes me bad. To a sentence, to a person, to a story – being committed seems to take a lot of effort and I want to try and make it, I truly want to, but my attention flits. Why? Maybe I’m genuinely not interested, maybe my process of knowledge intake is too “noisy” but I’m coming around to the idea that it might just be that if I stick with something, then something might be Expected Of Me and so I dodge it.
On a practical level, when I’m working, I find myself Wiki Wandering too often which is why when I’m working in the LSE Library and am bereft on internet, I do my best work. Aiming to shift my process and sooth my noise addled mind, I’m really looking forward to digging into a script that would require a tonne of research. Strip out the nonsense, stick with one project and get utterly lost on it.
I should start with finishing Cloud Atlas. Still on page 29…