The Unexamined Thought

by admin on January 30, 2011

A classmate of mine recently told me in response to some writing I had submitted to a group project, “Nice, it reads well.” The writing was for what’s called a user journey among interaction designers. Look it up if you care. The point is that the document and the writing therein, like most writing, was intended to surface insights on the subject matter. I clearly hadn’t done so, but my classmate was right in saying that the material read well. The words were carefully chosen, sentences flowed together, and lists were composed in threes. But I hadn’t really said anything of substance. I think this problem plagues a lot of writing right now, especially on the web…maybe even this blog post. Mere eloquence passes for critical, insightful, thought. There’s not enough time to think deeply about anything so we have to rely on our first impression of writing’s palatability over it’s long term affect on our minds. And bloggers, design thinkers, and journalists are becoming increasingly good at using techniques like nice typography, evocative photography, and whit to disguise shallow thought.

I don’t mean to rant, I just mean to caution, dear reader (i.e. Mom), don’t be mesmerized by the shiny words and the flashing lights.

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