Notes of writingWritten on August 5th, 2023 by Ludwig Huang
Writing guidelines from UChicago along with an tentative essay about tagging.
# Writing guidelines
How to write efficiently is a lecture video from University of Chicago’s writing program, in which the professor use a whole hour to demonstrate only one thing: you are not revealing your insights to the world, you are not conveying your thoughts or feelings to others; you are changing readers’ thoughts, you are changing their worlds.
He starts from criticizing rule-governed training during which students are told many rules about writing. In general, there are three main rules in academic writing: 1) pervasive; 2) organized; 3) clear. Obeying those rules leads writers to a place without readers but only texts, however, which are generated for readers to read. Although there are some works written for no one, such as diaries, in fact, these works still have readers—Notes from the Underground, for example. It is hard to write without others’ eyes on the writings.
Anyways, we write for somebody. In this case, we have to keep a clear reader pattern in mind and know what is valuable to them. Important or good is not enough—our works must be valuable in some cases. To judge value is a hard task, in which individuals are likely to be trapped in the hell where they lose their egos and only work for value, and thus become machines. Friedrich Nietzsche has described the situation—God is dead—and proposed a solution: to be a Übermensch (overman). But it seems too far for us to reach.
We have to do a trade-off. However, what it means is not that we can only write for only one aspect of world. What it does mean is that we need to make our works valuable, even just valuable for ourselves. That is, we need a diversity of values.
If we know our target users, we can reveal our knowledge to change the way they think by writing properly. We need not only create values, but also create funs to have them reading the texts. From a macroscopic (adj. of macro scope) perspective, what we are doing is to move forward the conversation of human beings along the way what we think right.
In summary, we are not writing for writing or thinking, although we can do that. We are writing for readers, while the way that we can generate values for them is knowing them, writing in that way and changing their worlds.
# Essay about tagging
I have written a lot about this topic, so this essay is just for practice.
When an individual is impressed by something stereotypical of a set of people, it is hard to he/she to know another person who is regarded as a person in that set without any bias, even this guy is not related to anything related to that stereotype. It is our nature. What I will do is to kill the nature.
Tagging is the most harmful method of thinking, which is also called class, party, religion… Anything that is categorizing people into several groups is tagging. With tagging, people can easily classify people they know and what they can benefit from they. That is okay.
However, when it comes to another individual who is a living person, it is extremely bad to use tagging to know them, especially when we want to understand them. But it is impossible for an individual who always use tagging to know others to suddenly socialize with a person without bias.
It seems to be a dilemma, right? Absolutely not. If we have a choice on whether to tag or not, we must choose not. We are human beings who can bear almost every situation to make a living. Without tagging, it is hard to know many people, but that is not important. With tagging, an individual must tag themselves as some kinds of people, and this is important.
Setting aside others, if we are tagging ourselves, we might do many things without any considerations because as a member of group, it is possible for us to accept all the opinions of others and attack other groups using those opinions. Besides, an implication of that I am a part of one community forces us to think in the way the community thinks, do things the community does. We must avoid that, cause every evil generates from a straightforward way of thinking. Although many people criticize the fact that we need to self-question, I argue that a person without self-questioning is an animal because it just does what requires it to do, and avoids doing what limits it to do, which creates no values to anything or anyone and is harmful to every living individual.
Considering others, there is no excuse for tagging them.
— As you can see, I am not good at writing something to change others’ thoughts…