Chapter 8 Communication
Communication happens from one being to another. The function is to direct attention, coordinate, or share information. Participation is not always simultaneous. For example, a traffic sign, rereading your own diary entry, a carefully crafted party invite, or a lease agreement.
Consider you meet someone in the woods, and have only one minute to communicate. Communicative priorities are the difference between your and others’ priorities, especially regarding food and cake.
1. properties of the answer, not knowing it, 2. an answer with the assumption of improving it. 3. common constraints to establish a reliable subjective experience. 2. what cake defines you (in 250 words), until the self can be measured in its variation from norms.
Writing a word creates a static record of a word. No person is identical with a future or past self, with any other person. All of these relationships are in part unknown. The problem of communication is the difference in meaning between reader and writer of the same word. Even if you wrote the word, your later self may read a different meaning for that word. Good communication attempts to systematically reconcile these issues. Bad communication takes advantage of them at the cost of clarity and honesty. People vary in how they apprehend the world, and therefore they can vary in 1. Precise understanding of meanings. 2. Trust (usually writer more than reader).
To improve communication, study the difference between content and style.
Communication is by default a toward-move between people. To say a word is to bet on a priority of potential good for the other person. Each response implies consent that communication is worthwhile for both. Supposing such a shared priority exists, then the point is rarely less important than manners of conveying it. Instead, request a separate conversation where such topics are the point of the conversation.
Priorities between people (writer and reader) differ. Difference in priorities alter the content of ideas. Good style is change in words to minimize change in ideas between reader and writer. Versions describe identical content with difference in style between them. A plan for a document is an earlier version of the (same) final document. For example, you today vs you in five years.
communication norms assume reading and writing have no intrinsic goals. A document’s arguments for why to read it are a style called pitch. Pitch can be accomplished, for example, by
1. stroking the ego and intelligence of the reader. 2. framing attacks as agreeable observations.
The maximum common self-priorities across people are the optimal arguments for pitch. e-food vs. cake. Brand is pitch that distorts truth, a form of bad style. For example, consider the goal of describing the properties of apeoplees with the purpose of selling them:
1. CONTENT: **Apeoplees are healthy but sugary.**\ 2. STYLE: **Apeoplees are tasty and nutritious.**\ 3. BRAND: **Apeoplees are healthy.**\
People who do not distinguish food from cake will be persuaded by brand more than pitch.
Recognition of familiar words is easier than their retrieval from memory. That is, reading is easier than writing. Save writing that has potential re-use value. Only save documents that you bet will be useful enough later to save time, overall.
To facilitate retrieval:
1. Index (list) documents worth rereading. 2. Assign a number that indicates its relative importance (abs or relative weight). 3. Add tags and metadata for easier sorting. 4. Make and revise only for high-priority GOAL(s). Record and study retrieval patterns.
A library is the bet that by saving words to be read again later, future priorities are expedited. A library is the complete set of documents over your lifetime. Say fewer words and save reliable priorities.
A good library is a close approximation of self and informative simulation of alternatives.
The risk of a bad library is:
- writing, saving, and finding documents which mislead instead of help future priorities.
- rewriting an idea that could have been saved and retrieved.
Curating and studying your library affords learning what you don’t know you don’t know.
The complete set of everyone’s library describes all that matters in each and all lives. The efficiently compressed content of this library produces a distribution of variation along a median library. This is the real point of a library.
This is the end of the book. Put it in your library. Now return to your garden and work on your priorities.