[personal profile] lhexa

When Wittgenstein was close to dying, he burned the majority of his notes. I prefer not to wait so long. So when I take down notes (which is rare anyway), I try not to keep them around, and burn the paper copies once I've transcribed those worth keeping. It's more fun, and more symbolic, than throwing them away. Then if a note in a text file gets used in something I write, or it is addressed satisfactorily, I delete it for good.

I do this because I am sensitive to the fate of excess. We are far beyond the point where the lot of humanity can be improved simply by upping humanity's productivity. To speak of proportions: the more is created, the less used; the more written, the more will go unread; the more food you grow, the more will rot uneaten. On a cheap hard drive I can store as much text as I need, but my consciousness is not so spacious. If my mind is to be a door, let it not open onto a warehouse.

I say this despite the necessity of supplementing one's natural intelligence with outside aids. This journal is very useful to me, as an aid to introspection; when I need to I'll skim through the entries, in forward or reverse order, until one grabs my attention. Right now I can survey it very easily, so I hesitate to write entries on whim; chances are I'll write more in this "month of involution" than I will in the entire year to follow. As paradoxical as it may sound, my Livejournal is, in some respects, an exercise in self-control.

My moralizing tone may give the wrong impression. I deride writing in excess, but I am also not up to it. If I tried to write casually, the journal would be far below the standards of others I've seen. I can only rely on myself for mediocrity, as all my college essays attest. To create anything better requires luck, emotion, preparation, need... For ambition's sake, I'll relate the conditions of my best writing. My best writing is amnesiac. I cannot remember writing it, or the period of time immediately preceding its writing. But it's always preceded either by a long accumulation, or by a long germination.

Sometimes what I write will be the final expression of long thought and consideration. I'll go over something over and over again, until suddenly everything falls into order without my expecting it to, so quickly that I can't quite recall what just happened. The tree grows for decades, but its flowers bloom overnight.

At other times, fortunate circumstances and good decisions will come together in just the right way, to fill me with glorious thought and powerful emotion, in their very nature difficult to remember. I might ride the passion out, to attempt to remember or understand it, or I might hasten to a computer the moment it starts to fade, and write in a blaze. Often I find that I can't write at all. This isn't dismaying, though. If it's extinguished by the time I get back, it can't have been a star that I brought down with me.

Date: 2005-12-17 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] broken-bokken.livejournal.com
This line of pondering always makes me wonder what will happen to the vast libraries of text stored in digital form on the 'net. It's indisputedly the largest, most extensive collection of data in existence on our planet right now, and it could all be wiped out far more easily than any library. I guess it's the ultimate expression of the concept of diminishing returns...there's so much stuff on here I've written that even I've forgotten about (and I'm not all that prolific comparitively), it boggles the mind to consider how much raw data really is recorded in such a tenuous form.

Date: 2006-01-03 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lhexa.livejournal.com
That's exactly what inspired this line of thought.

My solution is suggested by the entry, but it's only a personal solution.

Date: 2005-12-17 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wickedorin.livejournal.com
(Alright, so this is only "sort of" on topic, but...)

I really like finding those little forgotten things, maybe little excesses... writing, art, music--things not destroyed but left behind rather than being thrown away... even though maybe they "should have been", or the one that created them wanted them to be.

Of course, such left-behinds aren't necessarily quality, but they interest me just the same. Any inspiration is important to me personally... even if it outlines what not to do.

...Especially then, actually.

Date: 2006-01-03 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lhexa.livejournal.com
*nods emphatically*

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