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Yodeller

Welcome to the Yodeller: my ongoing project to try and write something every day. You can read more about the background from here. If you are a new reader you might want to start from the beginning.

Predicting the present

In the light of historical data it's easy to see how we ended up at the current situation. No matter what the situation is there is always clear indicators predicting the outcome that can be found afterwards when the outcome is known.

Even if we would have the same near perfect information for future events the predictions become more vague. No matter how possible some outcome is there are always other options that are also possible. And those probabilities all compound. So in the end, any outcome is just a sum of those probabilities.

The outcome we end up in present is also just a probability. The one that just happened to turn out from the dice of fate. Other outcomes could have been possible as well. They just didn't end up happening this time. But given the same premises we wouldn't necessarily end up with the same outcome next time. Using past outcomes as proof is a dangerous thing. There are always the probability for things going differently. And all those small differences can lead to a big difference in the final outcome.

Irrational fears

Ever since I was a kid I have hated dentists. I feared them so much that once I "didn't have" to go there anymore due to mandatory checks in school it took me 10 years and severe toothache to finally return to that chair.

Back then I got lucky. The dentist I was appointed took the fear seriously and was extra careful. Everything went well and I was fine going back there until the current situation was solved.

But once again, when I didn't have a good reason to go there it took another 10+ years and a similar situation to get me back again. That time I specially sought for a dentist specialized in tending fear patients. And everything went fine.

Still, I didn't return until another urgent incident. Even after those two good experiences I still get the chill when I think of going there. Nothing bad has happened during either of those times. But still, the bad memories from the childhood are the ones more vivid in my mind when I think about it. I can rationalize just fine that everything will go well this time as well, but I can't get away from that uneasy feeling.

Does every goal need to have an end

I don't like setting goals. I rather think them as directions. When I want to become better on something, or change things I just start working towards it. I don't set any definitive criteria for when I have achieved something. This way even a small improvement towards the "goal" is an achievement. There also isn't a point when I could stop improving, I can just keep going and become better and better indefinitely. Downside to this approach might be that some things never gets finished. But then again, that might not be the most important thing anyway.

Of course there are goals that have a clear target. Some things just can't be kept doing without an end. Those things just need to get done and that's it.

I'm sure these both approaches are valid. But they don't necessarily fit for everybody. People have different motivations and mentality on these things. While others get things done easier when there are clear goals, people like me thrive when we just keep going. Those are both evenly good goals for correct persons. And nothing stops you from picking goals from both styles. Sometimes either or another fits better for certain things.

The three levels of writing

In writing there are three levels when it comes to the complexity of the thought process for both the reader and the writer. It can also be thought as the interaction between those two.

First level is simply stating the facts. There is no deeper analysis offered by the author than using their own words telling about the subject matter. The reader gets the information without any additional work and is just expected to accept the information as is.

What makes a text more interesting is offering at least some level of analysis, reflection or other digest of the information. The writer can express his own feelings and conclusions about the subject beyond just stating the facts. For the reader this can offer some controversy or agreement, but in general is still just something to consume and acknowledge.

The most challenging level to reach for a text is to make the reader think. To make them come up with their own conclusions. To reach this, a writer much know the subject well enough to be able to think about different possible outcomes the user might come up with when presented these facts. When done well, reading such text feels like a dialogue between the writer and the reader.

Unexpected pressure

Nonsense is easy to write. If the topic is something every day and mundane it doesn't matter if the quality of the text itself isn't any higher than the contents. Writing about meaningless, or at least less meaningful things is just easy.

But when I decide to write about something important, something meaningful to me, it's a completely different story. I don't just want to get it out. I'm not just stating the facts. I want to get the message through.

I need to focus on getting everything clear enough that anybody can understand it. At the same time I want to use beautiful language, perfect sentences and clever anecdotes in my text. It's no longer just a text. It becomes more like of art. Crafting the impeccable story that leaves the reader thinking it as an experience.

This desire for perfection often prevents me writing about those things that I feel lost important. Instead, I end up writing something more casual. Posts that almost write themselves without me having to think about it too much. Such posts end up being the ones maybe easy to read, but not really worth reading.

 

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