On the point of all this, or communication levels


(Epistemic status:  Very rough, mostly ad hoc thoughts on why I write these essays and development as a writer)

I was talking with a friend (@rauwyn) last night to get an idea of the comprehensibility of my posts, particularly the ones about more difficult concepts like internal states.  This ended up leading to a very, very basic categorization system of how I would like to develop as a writer.

Effectively, I came up with 3 levels of communication and impact on reader that seemed most relevant to the topics my essays tend to be on:

Level 1:  Conveying my self/interior state to a degree that gives others a good model/approximation of what I am experiencing, even if they can’t shade the experience properly.  Additionally, this model should ideally be robust enough to allow any self improvement/hacking posts to make logical sense if I am having the experiences my posts are trying to convey.  

I feel like I mostly accomplish this level, though I sometimes get a little too weird with some ideas.

Level 2:  Conveying my self/interior state and my hacks in such a way that not only can my experiences be modeled but such that they can be translated to an other’s model of themselves.  Effectively, I would want to have an effect on my readers where an insight or technique I have actually can be translated to their own life.  I feel success on this level is when I can broadly help my readerbase hack themselves or reframe things in a way that is helpful to them, through the conveyance of my personal experience.

I’m not sure I hit this mark often but I also haven’t posted much in the way of discrete hacking attempts, mostly speculation.

Level 3: Simplifying my self/interior state to a more or less relateable/archetypal model that most people whether they are in my readerbase or not will relate to and be able to apply.  In particular, this feels like memetic fitness, reaching a point where I could elevator pitch an idea or self improvement tool in less than a minute and expect that in most people the concepts will expand into something meaningful for them even if it doesn’t match or even correlate with my interior experience.

This is largely a teaching level, as well as a memetic level.  This would be the sort of thing where things like CBT and perhaps more recently, mindfulness, have infected the public consciousness.  I am nowhere near this level since I’m still figuring out how to even expand my internal experiences into words in the first place.  I think compression will be easier once expansion becomes a more automatic process.  Then I can start writing infohazards =D.

I feel like there’s a 4th level, but since I’m somewhere between level 1 and 2, it’s difficult to conceptualize.  There are also likely inbetween levels and different experiential and memetic axes that could be explored.  My hope is that this system will help guide me in terms of how I want to frame my essays and that by posting this, it will also inflect how my essays are read.

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