Jun. 3rd, 2013

watchin' a lecture about twitter as an expressive medium. really like the bit about 17:40 in, as it pertains to what i mean when i talk about my love for artful irreverence of language:

"but the decision of how to place a comma wrongly can have just as much intelligence behind it as the decision of how to place a comma well. three commas are slower than one, and a space before a period is slower also. a sentence with no punctuation at the end at all seems to persist in the voice of the mind. it works as a sustain pedal - and it seems more suited to this place of endless, echoing, unfinished conversation."

edit moar:

"read these autobiographies while they are still happening and you'll get a
better sense of the arc of a day, and a better sense of narration, and a
better sense of what fresh, unprocessed thought sounds like. respect the
people whose stories you follow, and write down your own story if you feel
called to it.

"listen to me very carefully: there is no shame in writing about yourself."


"the other question is... why twitter? why should you waste your writing there?

"because innovative literature happens where people have room to play,
and it happens where no one is watching. it happens among groups that initially aren't taken seriously. it happens at the intersection of constraint of form and absolute freedom of content."


i've extricated these little serious bits from what's otherwise a very funny and whimsical talk; i recommend it if you have the time.

some of these words remind me of feynman's approach to science, like "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible". there's a particular bit in one of his books (either "surely you're joking" or "what do you care what other people think") that i can't find a reference for -- where he's describing how some of his most important scientific breakthroughs happened when he thought he was fooling around with a small, unimportant puzzle, and he hypothesizes that researchers get less effective after getting tenure/an award/other recognition because they don't feel like they have license to work on anything except "big problems" anymore.



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