Three habits

I am training myself in three intellectual habits:

  1. Set context! — Never launch into talking about an idea without setting context first. If the thought has a purpose or possible application, give that first. Maybe provide a little back-story on the genesis of the problem.
  2. Provide examples! — Any abstract concept must be accompanies with concrete applications, preferably presented narratively. The main purpose of examples is not to establish the validity of the concept, but to establish its very meaning (a.k.a. give people a hint of what the hell you’re even going on about.)
  3. Name concepts! — A concept only becomes fully real when it has been named. Until that point it is only an analogy or worse a tacit perspective. Naming things makes them real to people. It makes ideas into objects that can be thought about.

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