Last updated on July 7, 2020
There is much talk about the need for better communication between people but there is also a need for better communication with oneself I feel. I have long been highlighting the importance of augmenting thought, but it is only recently, when looking at the communication styles of friends, that I have realised that what I am working on with my own software (Author, Reader and Liquid) to augment communication with myself.
Some people prefer to listen than talk. Some prefer to talk but are not great at listening, at least not until they have said all they need say. Still others feel a great need to have a dialog in a loop, where they outsource part of their thinking to someone else, asking of them to be reality checks and to help wind the conversational loop out of stuck grooves. I think I am this type of person (primarily), though I make no claim of being a good listener or communicator, I simply acknowledge that I have long longed for dialog to extend my brain and I have to admit it has sometimes been selfish where I desperately needed another brain to loop with, despite the other person perhaps not having time or opportunity when the younger me needed a bigger thinking space.
And today, over lunch, I realised that this is what I have been designing software for: Communicating with myself. Liquid was invented to feed the curiosity of a spark point where I ask ‘what does that mean’ when I read something others or I have written. Author’s Dynamic View is designed to help me answer the question of ‘how does this relate?’. Liquid’s instant search of Google, Wikipedia and Google Scholar helps me instantly fact check and learn–it’s like asking someone ‘what is this?’ and “what I am trying to say?”
And this is not simply to learn for its own sake, but to learn to put together a statement, a document–to author something.
It’s hard, for me at least, to start writing a piece, but it is much, much harder to edit it once I have started writing. A document can quite easily become an unintelligible mess. This is why I built the folding table of contents from headings and the Dynamic Views, though there is very much more to go. The question I am to help me answer is simple: “What is going on here?”
I also absolutely do not want to spend time on what might be termed ‘clerical’ tasks, such as finicking citation formatting or going round-about ways to cite correctly. My brain is simply wired to be ‘creative’ and not detail oriented. I had tests for this way back in 2009. I could Neve be hired to be a secretary or checker of documents, but I have a good sense of information connections and creative ways to deal with information. That’s what my IQ test for career advice told me anyway.
Perhaps since I named my company Liquid Information and my first major project is called Liquid (with the term ‘actions’ often added to explain more what it does) that I find the notion of flow interesting but I go into flow mode when I play games. When I work with knowledge I don’t want to be in flow, I want to be in critical thinking mode, constantly asking questions, constantly in dialog with the information and myself.
Anyway, this is just a note for the future to say I think I have a better idea of what I am designing and for what type of work. Thanks for reading it.