Saturday, September 22, 2007

Don't be afraid to express non-unique points of view

Sketching.. I want to be able to express unique points of view on topics. We're all social animals, so there is an element there of wanting to stand out in the crowd. But it's not simply uniqueness for the sake of uniqueness.

Knowledge is like an expanding frontier, building on and growing out of what we already know. Part and parcel of trying to understand things better is trying to develop unique points of view.

But there's a real risk of trying to only say things that are unique. Of thinking that expressing a non-unique points of view is pointless and lame.

Writing (and talking) about things is a way to "gather your thoughts" about them. Writing about well known things helps you think about them. This also applies to things you know well yourself.

And it's through such synthesis and thinking about the topic that helps you construct new points of view.

There's another dimension to this problem. You might see the value in expressing a non-unique point of view, but you might be worried about what others will think of you expressing it. Will they think it's just an expression of my limitations?

I think it's a sad fact that people tend to perceive any behavior as a direct expression of someone's nature. If someone's mucking around, they're childish. So people who don't want to be perceived as childish avoid mucking around.

Even if they're really intelligent, sensitive, mature people, and mucking around is a reflection of just one facet of their personality, which they'd otherwise only express in appropriate situations, and not express in inappropraite ones.

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