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curiosity corner: the bracket method, fun facts, and some own thoughts about writing

an internet corner in which I jot down random thoughts, recommend things I find interesting, and go on a bunch of weird tangents

The Bracket Method

One of the best ways I’ve beat executive dysfunction is to shake the illusion of the need for sequence/order.

This grew from learning about the bracket method in writing: e.g., if you’re writing a paper and can’t find a word for something, or don’t know how to phrase the next sentence, put a bracket in the middle like this:

[find other term for correlation]

[sentence about XY et al.’s finding]

And move on, so that a single roadblock won’t block progress of the rest of the paper. In the end, it’s much easier to go back in and fill in gaps than forcing yourself to write fully from beginning to end.

Moving on to studying, for example, if you are stuck on chapter 3/10, it’s far better to skip 3 for now (as long as later chapters are not built chronologically from the knowledge in 3) and finish 4-10 and come back to 3. That way, you’re only left with 1 chapter undone rather than that chapter you’re stuck on, and everything after it too. 

Random fun facts found in my old notes

-Jet fuel is usually stored in the wings of commercial airline planes

-Hot and cold water sound different when poured because the viscosity of water changes when heated; it’s the same phenomenon of hot honey being easier to pour than cold honey, but in a more subtle way. The change in viscosity can be heard in the splash that water makes when poured, and why you can judge the temperature of water by its sound even if you can’t see or feel it. 

-The Pillars of Creation is a famous photograph taken of elephant trunks in the Eagle Nebula. It is around 7000 light years away from earth. In reality, evidence suggests that they were destroyed 6000 years ago, but we will only be able to see that destruction in 1000 years.

-It only takes 23 people in a room for there to be a 50% chance that two people share the same birthday.

-Wojtek the bear was a famous real bear who not only enlisted in the Polish army, but also reached the rank of Corporal 

-There are 8.0658 x 10^67 permutations of a shuffled 52 card deck. In comparison, the observable universe is only 10^18 seconds old. Every time you shuffle a deck of cards well, it is very likely you are holding an order of the cards that has never before been shuffled that way in the history of existence. 

As a marginalised person recovering from a weighted amount of trauma, writing has been one of the most empowering things in my life.

When my voice is taken away, writing is where I find it again. It gives me a world to craft where I am not confined by systems, structures, oppression, and where I can be free from the confines of prejudice. It helps me take something inside me that would otherwise not have a platform, and make it tangible in ways that anyone can, in some way, understand.

When I felt completely isolated and powerless in real life, writing gave me a way to connect from an equal platform with others, as writer and reader, and writer and fellow writer, removed from the power struggle and confines of daily life.

It helps me take the complicated feelings inside that are hard to discuss and even harder to find a place to communicate, and gives me a chance to find in others what connects us, not what separates us, as humans.

In many ways, writing from a small age helped me understand a lot of turmoil inside; somehow, when written and shared, a bigger truth can be found in the light of day.

I truly believe that there is more that connects us than divides us, and from the beginning of time – or from when we were first able to – humans connected through telling stories; stories transcend time and borders and laws and rules. They decorate our society and time, and if it weren’t for writing, I would not be here right now.