and not the kind of writing you may be thinking of. I haven’t been writing non-fiction for… a while. I miss the deep dives into a research topic, and then pulling it together into a cohesive whole. On the other hand, the time to get stuck into a topic well enough to produce a cohesion, that’s the tricky bit.
Currently, I’m reading things like blogs on the topic of cellular protein expression, the genetic (self) modification of archaea, books on the role of AI on battlegrounds and logotherapy, as well as listening to a broad variety of podcasts and videos on topics ranging from gardening to bonsai to sociology to art instruction to cooking. It keeps my brain engaged, but digesting all of that into a singular piece of writing becomes more like that list above than it does anything else.
I suppose, though, it’s all how I frame it. There are connections, there are always connections. Frankl’s logotherapy is intended to help someone who is adrift in life find the meaning and purpose of their life. Which in turn gives a person the joy in living to take the time to stretch and grow and learn more about the world around them, and their role in it. For me, this is learning. Particularly, learning about plants, animals, and even unicellular organisms fascinates me. Archaea, with their connection in the web of life to darn near everything downstream of them, can give us a glimpse into what makes the human body tick, as we are tightly woven conglomerates of cells. The rhythm of cellular protein expression, which we are beginning to clarify and reveal through a number of different ways of looking at it, can give us vital clues in how to deal with cancer, which is after all the rampant cellular growth that has run out of control in the body. We all need cellular division and growth, it’s the balance that is the killer when it tips too far to one side or another. The technologies we develop, like the AI that can give humans the advantage in battle, can give us a slight advantage over the systems built into the human body, and allow us to possibly learn how to control, slow, or even stop the growth of cancers. There is no cure, singular, but we can certainly improve our weapons in treating it or preventing it.
Of that paragraph, the one thing I want to pull out for more examination is ways of looking at it. There are as many different perspectives as there are people in the world. Each of us brings with them, to a reading, an entirely different education, cultural lens, and modality of analysis. I’m certainly not the only person in the world to be reading Frankl, Lowe, Scharre, and Mechas at the same time. Well, maybe. There are 7 billion of us, what are the odds? What I can say with confidence is that the chances of their being two of us with my rather odd cultural background, education, and perspective reading all of them at the same time approaches zero. The calculus of writing, then, is to synthesize all of those into something truly unique through the focal point of the author.
Not everyone can do this. Writing is a skill, for one, but it’s also the ability to translate thoughts into words in ways that readers can grasp and use to form new connections in their own mind. There are people who just can’t, they might be better with spoken word communication, or perhaps kinetic creation is that way they can pour out their knowledge into the world. Some people can do all of the above. You, my dear reader, are special. I don’t know how, but I know that if I can drill down into that spaghetti mess of information above and come out with a conclusion, you can certainly take it to be this: you are unique. No one else is quite like you. There will be others who have commonalities. Shared experiences, shared books, even shared turns of phrase. You are the only you.
The world would be lesser without you. I’m glad I have you reading these words. Thank you.
I’ll see you again soon.