I’ve been working with a small group of researchers looking to transform the collection of, well, collective intent. A few years ago I worked with a Physics/Engineering project that was stuck in a rut, an absence of creativity. The unmentionable maths doods on that project ended up working with a Sociology/Linguistics project that mathematically seemed remarkably similar – in the form of Freewriting. I know that’s a wanky phrase but I was their 143rd contestant, invited when it wasn’t working. My answers, gave me a seat on their panel. One of half a dozen other remarkably refreshing, ecclectic types.
This is my verbatim input to their weird “zero-reflection” technique:
What ComplexWales Saidd:
I can’t even remember the phrase that describes how I write. Freelywting
I look at the keyboard not the screen and imagine that what’s in my mind, my fingers have somewhow recreated ot. It is definitely recreation. Because the thing that gives me strength. I’m distracted. I’m not sure whether I writing this for you or for me.
There’s something quite magical about watching your brin make your fingers do something before they/you actually think about it. Keyboads are slow. Genuimely, I’ve no idea what’s being typed. And no, Jung is a tway. I’m somehow watching myself type the words as they come to me. I’m watching y fingers lik eheeeggrt¬ wht the. How trhe fuj dos that work. Plus obviously, (an exclamation typed wi intent)n (random key) I at, I’m lose, wait, I want to believe that ths is not justr me. I may be shot. But it is me having a go,
Sorry, I have bot idea when your’re seeing, hopefully reading this. But But I’m struggling to find not the words but the inclination to have any. Words that is,,, It’s like I’ve lost my soul, but that line in itself is bullshit. I just looked up at the words. I think my way of being is being attsattecked. I wat to sseerrve, I’m not looking, I’m just typing and my typing is shot.
And this is what we’re all doing!. We’re typing without ;ooking. We’re not looking, not t the images but at the humanity (I mashed those types) It’s almost liej the manpulators are winning . thy’re not .it seems hopeless against a hierarchy that has lasted a thousand yers, but let go with it. I only have a keyboard, I can’t see, the future youre future or mine, but as I type I find a better way to be. To SEE, tp connect through the simplwest way to prevebt the keys of a typewriter, clogging themselves up! QWER^Y.
We need to destroy the keybpard, we need another way to see the wpr;d. We do not read every letter we, glance across the meaning of the wprld, the word… beforevand the wpord after… I’m getting trhe hang of thos, …. Do I really neeed t et all the letter sright for you to see meaning.Precision is the nenemy! That’s as much as I can do for now. I can pnmy see the letters, my fingers are less controlled the letters are there, bit I don’t a;ways seem them in the same ordr as the way we’ve been taught.
I could be a shti tyer but that’s npt the point . the stabbing of letters athat m,eam wprds is a massive limitation of people. If you are using a keyboard you are failing. Darwin, lice , revice, b ee you and be thos horrible tippy tappy thing!
There is no real question beyond a pseudo-religious couple of arsey phrases that initially put me off. You get a link, it says a bot-like hello and you’re away. You can’t see that you’re typing, albeit there’s a wavy rhythm visualisation that matches your taps, that fades in, only when your rhythm goes low. I assumed to help pick up the level of blather.
It’s weird because if you stop typing, it switches off and you can’t carry on, or go back. You just yell out! Hence the blathering conscious-gapping I did with shit out of focus drivel in places: which I explained to them afterwards, with something equally wanky:
Can you say things with your fingers that your brain never intended?@ComplexWales
No you can’t, but the precocious word is: intention! The keyboard is not a healthy tool for expression, in confining yourself to the structure of the qwerty, let alone the individual letters, you are taken down from 3D ideas, to 2D language to 1D qwertylettery. I’m a believer that this mechanical reduction of thought needs to be hung, drawn and quartered. And they noticed!
Imagine how gathering the wisdom of a well informed crowd, could change the big decisions. There’d be no need for any elections nor mad elitist power-mongering politicians who have no concept of representing anybody other than themselves.
Imagine being represented, personally, by your intuition and a little technology…. every day obviously, to discount the daily attitudinal swings and roundabouts of being alive…. and suddenly it all goes a bit 1984!
You do know that this is really weird and you’re exposing yourself, in a way? And worse, even and for me, just rereading about the technique, is unnervingly exposing. What might I say that I may not want to, caught up in the moment!