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To think effectively, one must write effectively

By: Michael Lundie

What resonated with me about this post is CH's remarks on the relation between effective writing and effective thinking. There are certain mechanics of good writing -- balancing abstract and concrete, sequencing topics in an intuitive order, interweaving premises into an argument, etc. -- that transfer to mechanics of thinking.

The dearth of constructive content really worth reading on social media reflects the supplanting of depth by expediency. Even competent researchers and journalists succumb to the pressure to react immediately and without restraint. These tendencies wind up devolving what could have been constructive dialogue into a petty game of demonizing the opposing view and those who subscribe to it. If we want to generate more light than heat while communicating our thoughts, we should aspire to "level up" our prose (as CH suggests) and write with vibrancy and discipline.

One of the valuable aspects of writing is how the discipline shapes our thinking. It seems rather obvious that writing conveys what we are thinking. But more than that, sometimes we don't know what exactly we think about a subject until we start writing about it. The requirement to gather the fragmented intuitions we hold about a subject and clearly delineate those elements into a narrative is inextricable from what we call thinking.


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