Friday, October 21, 2011

On writing logically

My friend Kevin Kim has posted a description of how to write essays well. His talk doesn't necessarily cover new ground, but it does explain the concepts clearly and well.  I think it is useful to remind me how to write - particularly my longer posts that do need better organization - and could be helpful to students of mine in writing classes.
 lot of students will say something like, "But I don't like outlining. I just start writing and go with that." My response to this is twofold: (1) if you're mentally organized enough to produce essays and research papers that come out in beautifully organized form, then bravo! You've alreadymastered outlining, even if you're not writing your outlines down. But, (2) if you're like most other students, your initial attempts at "going with that" will result in mushy, disorganized writing-- arguments that start but reach no conclusion, or arguments with conclusions arrived at through no discernible logical process. My rule of thumb: better safe than sorry. Get into the habit of outlining your arguments and expositions before you even begin writing. It's hard work-- I remember disliking doing this as a young student-- but it's a valuable skill that will stand you in good stead later on, especially if you're planning to get through college, and maybe even graduate school.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What makes a good scientist?

This Scientific American article looks into the question but I also had a conversation with a publisher at a convention on the subject that I would like to share.

The clerk described the core of science as being good literacy.  To be fair, she was at a conference for ESL teachers so the literacy angle was a marketable one.

I felt, and feel, that science is about questions and thinking.  I can see that clear thinking is required and clear thinking is aided by clear unambiguous writing which is aided by being literate but we are a few steps removed from the core.  Perhaps we are now in the mantle.

Being a science professional certainly requires good literacy as one must understand what other science professionals have done and write clearly ones further contribution to the field.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

distraction and concentration

I have come to the conclusion that a creative mindset is reached by achieving a sort of controlled distractibility.

If you find you aren't focusing enough, perhaps these suggestion could help (tools for better attention & focus).  Here are two of the ten offered:

2. TrackTime – Audit how you’re spending your time on your computer.
This good-looking app tracks everything you do on your computer, spitting back out a sort of "attention audit." How much time are you spending in Firefox? How many hours a day in your email client? What are listening to on iTunes? If you let TrackTime run in the background, it builds these patterns into a lovely rainbow-colored timeline of your online life. Its most effective use is as a sort of  wake-up call: If your daily timeline shows you shifting between apps and tasks every 2 minutes or less, you know there’s a problem. For Macs only.

3. Concentrate – Maximize focus while shifting between different tasks.
Concentrate is great for shifting between tasks that require different mindsets. I have a variety of recurring tasks that require different tools: 1) Writing, 2) Social Media Management, 3) Event Planning. Concentrate lets me configure a different set of tools for each task. When I activate "Writing," the app automatically closes my email client and Internet Browser; blocks me from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; launches Microsoft Word; and sets my instant messaging status to "away". Then, when I want to concentrate on "Social Media Management," I can customize a completely different set of actions to happen relevant to that activity. There’s also a handy "concentration" timer. For Macs only.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

art from several personalities but also from only one person

Apparently, her ID gives her name as Kim Noble, but her dominant personality goes by Patricia.  She was interviewed in the Guardian recently.  She has more than 100 separate personalities and many of them create art.

I have always hid behind a 'manly and masculine lack of understanding of art' but the variety of media and content shown here do appear to be from different people.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Writers wanted at JetSettlers

Via KoreaBridge, I found an ad for writers "to create a community of storytellers, reporters, reviewers, observers, and even vicarious expats that may never leave their borders—a place where the collective experience is being away from home."

From the JetSettler's website:

Need info? Want to write for JetSettlers?
If you’re an Expat who LOVES to write, then you could be our next writer! Here’s what kind of articles/expat writers we’re looking for:
  • Articles about daily expat life, foodies, entertainment lovers, thrill-seekers, book reviewers, movie buffs, photographers, and more.
Remember, this magazine is about ALL the different aspects of expat life. All voices are welcome and expats from all countries are wanted.
Let your voice be heard and share your world with the rest of us.

Gord Sellar on learning the movie biz by doing

Gord recently began making a horror film based on a Lovecraft story but set in Korea.

To see what he's been up to, start here, then go here and here.
updated on Oct 5:

Gord's remarks on what he learned: Day 3 and Day 4.