lower order ideas

By: Jacob Taylor

So I realized I do this thing where I try to tackle a really heavy, complicated idea only to realize that I've missed or forgotten a lower order idea. Often it's more that I realize I was not as solid on a concept as I thought I was, and trying to bring everything together for that big idea brings it out.

Case in point: I started trying to write on my concept of free will. We've been debating this stuff for a couple thousand years at least so I don't think I can add anything to the discussion, but what I can do is clarify my conceptualization for myself (and write it down so maybe others will find a kernel of truth). I've pulled out one idea that I need to think about entirely, and several more that need clarification (for me) before I can proceed.

I have a draft collecting dust because I have to clarify the lower order ideas upon which it is based before I can continue with a proper revision.

What I've also realized is that when I do this, there's no point in mapping it out. At one point I started doing that. This idea is a lower order idea of that... and so on, trying to find a mapping and structure to it. That ended up being counter productive in many (but not all!) scenarios, because the ideas that were often precursors to another had no massively obvious relation until I could synthesize it all together (read: I was ready to deal with the high order idea).

So instead, I try to write about something very old and very crunchy like free will and end up pulling behavioral economics, relationship models, models of interpersonal interaction, probabilistic events... and more back into my working set so that I can clarify them, so that I can draft again my post on free will.

While doing that, rather serendipitously, I was sent this quote on Facebook of all places:

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. - Chief Sealth, Duwamish

Which ties directly in with how I'm seeing things. Old-school network-centric model of the universe, represent!