"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."

-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
1 Stronger emotional connection through an inverted writing structure3 Stronger emotional connection through an inverted writing structureStronger emotional connection through an inverted writing structureHow can we develop transformative tools for thought?2020-10-18JournalPeople with little experience doing good technical writing often complain about this dry, bottom-up approach. They will complain that writers should instead stay closer to the fun material, and use less technical notation and nomenclature. But when competent writers attempt to follow this prescription, invariably it works poorly. One problem is that a person can spend years reading analogies about black hole evaporation, quantum teleportation, and so on. And at the end of all that reading they typically have… not much genuine understanding to show for it. The analogies and heuristic reasoning simply don't go far. They may be entertaining and produce some feeling of understanding. But the reasoning won't scale out; it can't be applied to other phenomena, at least not without lots of caveats, caveats the reader is in no position to understand or apply. As a result, good technical writers instead mostly build things up from first principles, with occasional digressions to the broader motivating picture. And that means starting with a lot of detailed, technical minutiae. Continue reading…