Blood from a pen, ink from a sword

Two things have just occurred to me: First,  that effective communication can only be attained through continuous practice. Verbal communication can only become truly effective when you are out often, speaking and interacting with different people. That’s where you hone your skills. I will testify to that, because for 5 days a year, I participate in Model United Nations (for the uninitiated, it’s this), where I am wrenched from my introverted, individualistic bubble that is college and dumped into the cosmopolitan, communications-based Times Square. Oh the horror. But after those five days, the words flow so freely, from cookies to nuclear war. How did that happen? Practice. MUN forces 1,500 college students together for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. You HAVE to talk. And although not everything that was said was profound, the process does have its merits.

I believe (deconstructionist edit: does one’s beliefs hold merit? Why do I believe this?) that written communication can utilise the same means for the same ends. The fact that I am enrolled in a writing-intensive college program notwithstanding (I did not choose it for the writing program), effective written  communication can be achieved by writing often, in different settings. This is sans formal education in writing – that can be found at colleges where professors and writing tutors actively edit paper and written work. To that end, can effective written communication be achieved through informal prose (i.e. HERE), or can it also be achieved through poetry and lyric writing? My initial bias would be, no. Poetry seems (to me), a world apart from prose both in the development of its style and form. I’m planning to put this to the test. Having never kept a journal or any constant medium to write on – and having forgotten what I learnt in terms of writing from my old blog – this will be the new test. Can writing about current issues – and food – on a regular basis improve and develop my writing style? We shall see.

To that end, perhaps I will be clear that I very often second guess my opinions, beliefs and thoughts. There is always some form of deconstruction or second-level doubt that goes on in my head and sometimes spills over as I write (God forbid I go into Cartesian hyperbolic doubt). As such, there will be many edits (or side notes) that accompany these posts.

Second (ah hah, I almost forgot about this), that the above realisation – when made – was profound to me, but the more I thought about it (regardless of logical sequence), the more I thought about the lack of impact that such a statement, “effective communication can only be attained through continuous practice” has. Was it not obvious that practice makes perfect? (at least that’s the convention) But this statement can then lead to a discussion on the mechanisms and pathways of learning and how exactly good writing is developed. We’ll have to call in the psychologists and biologists for this! Alas they are too far away and I do not have them on speed-dial (it’s also summer, so I don’t know any of them who would care to entertain my questions).

So would it be silly to qualify or make such an obvious statement? If one answers  ‘Yes’, then we head towards the philosophical question of, ‘Who has the privilege of making that qualification?’ Technocrats, Philosophers, Politicians? Or no one at all? Of the former kind, who of them is qualified to do so? Of the latter, if no one makes such a statement… how does it ever disseminate? If one answers ‘No’, then in a hyperbolic sense, anyone would be able to lay such claims and be proclaimed a genuis. Alas that is not true. Recognition for ‘profound’ statements have to be accompanied by the existing recognition of the individual, the weight placed upon such statements by society and the intent behind such a statement. At this juncture I must consult philosophers and statisticians, on the existence of thought and probability that profound thought exists. Ah but I know none! =)

But perhaps there is value in a lay-person making such statements. I do believe that it reflects some ounce of free thought. For if the thoughts of the lowly masses were unimportant and unrecognised, then it begs the question about the truth of democracy. If we are free persons, then we should also be free to think and exclaim those thoughts – at least to ourselves. The freedom of thought is one of the most contentious elements of democracy, that supercedes freedom of religion and speech, because both of those arise from thought (but we leave that for another day). Thus, as stupid as it may seem, I see merit in exclaiming and examining the obvious (the latter which is crucial).

As you can probably tell by now, I do not pretend to be completely thorough or logical in my analysis. Logic comes less than naturally to me, especially in my train of thought. I also do not pretend to be always correct in seeing philosophical inquiries in the most mundane of things. So, if you want to provoke a constructive challenge, be my guest.

P.s. Sometimes I wonder, ‘What would happen if I went through every podcast and recording I have on my iTunes U account? Hmmm…’ I suspect my brain would blow up.

P.p.s. I also have the nasty habit of trying not to persuade people of ideas and the sort. But since persuasion is the most powerful psychological tool that exists, why deprive myself of it!


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