Thought is invisible and temporary.
Invisible and temporary things are hard to work with, examine, and understand. Writing makes thought visible and permanent. If something is written down, in a static form, we can take it, dissect it, assess it, challenge it.
Sometimes I struggle to examine my week-old thoughts, but can easily examine Darwin’s thoughts on the Beagle 200 years ago:
- Darwin’s thoughts were all in one place - a series of notebooks. Not scattered across email/drive/chats/browsing history/sticky notes.
- Darwin recorded incomplete and early thoughts.
Writing, scribbling and sketching allows us to encode representations of thoughts. It is easier to remember thoughts the next day, if we encode representations of them today.
Links to this note
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