Tag Archives: writing

Fanciful Internal Conceptualization™ or: Let’s Get Visual

A couple years back I read an article about a mathematician who saw numbers as different colored shapes.  He’d see a nine as a red fuzzy sphere or a zero as a keen-edged pyramid.  These images allowed him to build upon his ideas and accurately compute in his head. Along with blowing my mind, this example helped me to strengthen my own thought processes through what I would call visual thinking.

Visual Thinking is a hard fit for what I’m trying to describe.  Visual Thinking is a concept already linked to disorders like Autism and Dyslexia, based on “picture thinking” and spatial skills exhibited by those who are Autistic or Dyslexic.  What I have experienced, or in the case of the mathematician read of others experiencing, seems so natural that its hard for me to link it to any kind of mental disorder.

Visual thinking also has close ties to Eidetic Memory. In no way am I advocating I have a superior “elephant” like memory. My memory is a unique animal in its own right. I can often remember ridiculous stats and facts that make me a master at Trivial Pursuit, but I routinely did (and would still) get my recognitive ass handed to me in a game of Memory by anyone ages 4 and up.

Memory is not centric to my interpretation of whats going on in my noggin. However I’d never rule out improved memory as a result of fanciful internal conceptualization. Can I trademark that phrase? (I should trademark that phrase)

Flow charts. Expansive, colorful, animated, funky flow charts are what I see in my head.  I cannot conjure up a better way to describe the imagery in my mind during brainstorming sessions.  If there is a hole or flaw in my thinking, which there often is (and I have no shortage of people to tell me so, M.P.) I see what resembles a white or grey cloud. When working on a project where I have my ideas developed and methods laid out, I’ll think in same composition of the application or software I’m using.  Which I’m sure Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Adobe are all working on copywriting.  These are just two ways in which I think visually, I’m quite sure there are many more.

There is no doubt in my mind that everyone has the ability to, or already does think in a manner that incorporates imagery into thought processes. I’ve just never heard anyone talk about it, except that one time with super smart math guy…or maybe he was a physicist.


– Have you ever had an idea come to mind so suddenly that blurred your thought completely?


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Blogistentialism: Struggling for Nothing

Battling a little bit of writers block after my last post, I turned to a nice little app called SimpleMind+ for my iPhone.  I downloaded it to help me brainstorm ideas for blogs or at the very least help me develop a richer amount of content for preexisting blog ideas.

Just now, as I’m watching Sherlock on the interwebs and waiting for my third fantasy football mock draft to start, I realized my next blog topic shouldn’t be an internal debate over naming my future son after a super villain or my father’s fashion sense and what he did or did not pass along. This blog should be about the almost existential process of wanting to write a blog, struggling to conjure up good content, delivering a somewhat decent message and then in the end, writing about the authentic experience rather than an actual predetermined subject.

Believe me, I don’t gain much from the process other than a tiny amount of self-worth and general acknowledgement that someone, most likely from my immediate family, has read my words.  So my struggle is minuscule to the poor bastards who do this for a living.

I don’t prep for these writings, but I feel they get more attention then they deserve especially after a full days work. That conflict conjures up this question “Is the process of writing blog a meaningful experience?”  Obviously I can only answer this question for myself, but I hypothesize the importance is not the answer to the question, it is the derivation.

As I take time away from WordPress and The Surly Otter to brainstorm the derivation of the answer to the question above, I’ll leave you with how I believe I’ll get from point A to B.

1) Once I’ve come to terms with what I’m actually trying to accomplish here at The Surly Otter I’ll need to know: What does it mean to write this type of blog?  I haven’t defined what I’m doing here and probably will never truly know.

However, if this blog is just a stream of my consciousness (It is) and does not pertain often enough to the lives  of others (It doesn’t) then it will never be limited by any descriptor. In other words: If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone read my blog?

2)  Strive to understand if I have a motivation to write and where it comes from (if no one is reading). Does expectation play a part, and if so is it intrinsic or extrinsic?

3) Embrace the randomness, much like a hipster might. Just don’t embrace hipsters.

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