Reworking my 5 year writing plan and really digging into that was a powerful motivator. It was exciting to deeply consider what’s next in terms of writing and producing content. I never really want my research trajectory to get bogged down and stagnant. Part of my journey into the world of research and understanding is endeavoring to learn every single day. We have a wealth of content to learn about every day. People and now bots are producing a tremendous amount of content. Enough content is being produced to consider it flooding and in some cases highly overcrowded. In my case the peak production of my prose a year is around a million words. Some generative models can produce that within the use of one prompt cycle. I would argue at this point that my million words are better, but for how much longer that will hold true I’m uncertain. Millions of my written words were shared in a file for a GPT-2 model to work with and produce output. Within only a few cycles of training that model will very quickly start writing and writing and veering off into tangents.
My ability to refocus from writing about the process of writing which happens on this weblog a lot. Based on my tag cloud it is a preponderance of what I produce these days. A lot of my other content is written into academic papers, manuscripts, talks, and potentially produced for a newsletter. All of that content would have to be bundled together to really give the model a chance at producing prose that more closely matches my style and switching between stream of consciousness style musing that happen here in a weblog format and the more structured academic writing that happens one bit a time. Generally I write an academic article by producing a core of text that gets broken down into parts or I start with a shell of what needs to be produced and work on it by expanding the outline bit by bit and paragraph by paragraph until it is a comprehensive work. I’ll admit that if the idea has been something that I considered deeply before sitting down to write it is possible that I could write from start to finish a short research paper. That has happened before. I typically make presentations that way as well. The entire thing will sort of get worked out in my thoughts by the power of imagination and then the act of creating media happens after that as I translate my vision to the page or in some cases the slide.
A lot of my writing production ends up like this page of content where a stream of consciousness at the very start of the day or at the end of the day I sit down and just record my thoughts. It is quintessentially the act of thinking out loud except with a keyboard instead of vocalizing anything. My preferred format for response and argument is in writing. Well measures and considered arguments are always more interesting to me in general. Debating verbally typically develops into a pattern of exchange where give and take is reduced to the sharing of single arguments sometimes that are reduced to a soundbyte. We need to get back to really long form arguments where the important things are deeply considered. Some type of shared perspective and understanding is necessary to rebuild the social fabric that allows people to work with and find reasonable consensus. People who come together to live and form communities have some foundation for doing that. We have a lot more in common from the normative assumptions of our community than we do from the edge of theory where conflict exists. Triangulation of political differences has created a degree of polarization from the edge that exhausted the resilience of our shared social fabric.
My thoughts have wandered a little bit into the philosophy of community this morning. That is bound to happen I guess. A lot of my energy is going to need to be focused on working on outlines and drafts to the things in my 5 year writing plan that was shared yesterday. One of the more surprising elements of that planful list was that it did not contain any reference to the 100 pages of contact strategy for campaigns book that is sitting unfinished. Earlier this year during a super burst of productivity I cleaned up and shared a bunch of content previously written, but shelved. For some reason, that bit of research which has a lot of time invested into creating it has just been put on the backburner. Maybe I should keep a list of false starts as well in case during a fit of writer’s block it becomes prudent to jump back into one of those stalled projects to kickstart something better. Sometimes working on something that is lacking and otherwise undesirable is enough to bring a creative spark to the forefront.