Should You Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think?

by Arkanj3l 1 min read7th Nov 201127 comments


Related to: Living Luminously

Well? Should you?

Linked is a treatise on exactly this concept. If the effects of recording and classifying every thought pan out like the author says they'll pan out... well, read a (limited) excerpt (from the Introduction), and I'll let you decide whether it's worth your time.

If you do the things described in this book, you will be IMMOBILIZED for the duration of your commitment.The immobilization will come on gradually, but steadily. In the end, you will be incapable of going somewhere without your cache of notes, and will always want a pen and paper w/ you. When you do not have pen and paper, you will rely on complex memory pegging devices, described in "The Memory Book''. You will NEVER BE WITHOUT RECORD, and you will ALWAYS RECORD.

YOU MAY ALSO ARTICULATE. Your thoughts will be clearer to you than they have ever been before. You will see things you have never seen before. When someone shows you one corner, you'll have the other 3 in mind. This is both good and bad. It means you will have the right information at the right time in the right place. It also means you may have trouble shutting up. Your mileage may vary.

You will not only be immobilized in the arena of action, but you will also be immobilized in the arena of thought. This appears to be contradictory, but it's not really. When you are writing down your thoughts, you are making them clear to yourself, but when you revise your thoughts, it requires a lot of work - you have to update old ideas to point to new ideas. This discourages a lot of new thinking. There is also a "structural integrity'' to your old thoughts that will resist change. You may actively not-think certain things, because it would demand a lot of note keeping work. (Thus the notion that notebooks are best applied to things that are not changing.)

The full text is written in a stream-of-consciousness style, which is why I hesitated to post this topic in the first place. But there are probably note-taking junkies, or luminosity junkies, or otherwise interested folk amongst LW. So why not?

(Incidentally I'm reminded of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Chronofile. I wonder how he managed it, or what benefits/costs it wrought?)