I like to think. Sometimes, I don’t do it so well; & certainly I don’t think as well as others. Good thinking is about applying some rigor to the process in order to distill out the truth value of ideas postulated. While knowledge is important, what you do with the knowledge you have is more important, as is intellectual honesty.
This blog gives me a venue to indulge recreational thinking in addition to allowing me to maintain a certain level of writing proficiency. It’s easy to see when I have good days or bad days: some thoughts are more clearly constructed, ideas are better fleshed out, fewer overly complex grammatical structures are used, etc. But in every post, I take time to challenge (most of) my thoughts for logic, undisclosed assumption, fallacy, or just plain ol’ weakness of premise.
When I discover I don’t know something, have forgotten something, or just need a topic refresher, I will take the time to look it up. I’ve found that, no matter how good your logic is, if it doesn’t have information (or knowlege) to work with, you’re just playing with tinker toys. Kind of like mental masturbation. While that might be pleasurable for a time, it doesn’t procreate. Sometimes gaps in my knowledge are not self-evident; other times I assume a shortfall of knowledge and go hunting for some. In any case, with whatever information I have or know (or think I know), I attempt to create knew knowledge or understanding.
And I very, very seldom ever sit down to write with the “answers” already known. Most of my writing is exploratory. While it may seem that I’m exposing knowledge I own, I’m really chaining concepts known and unknown together in ways that illuminate another concept that may never have crossed my mind before. It just appears as a type of inevitable conclusion, which I then have to challenge: do I believe that? When I don’t, I evaluate the premises and attack the concept from a different angle. Not much of this process is always obvious in the final written product.
I welcome all comments as an opportunity to address weaknesses in my arguments, to illuminate a point, or simply to expand the topic further. I very seldom ever get comments, even when I was posting these “articles” on facebook. Something about my writing doesn’t invite a lot of comment…which disappoints me somewhat. But while it’s gratifying to be read, the purpose of this blog is not to fish for esteem enhancements.