Wednesday, February 4, 2015

On Writing

There seems to be a point of diminishing return in writing. The struggle for skill acquisition in writing needs to rely on increasing your knowledge, and if you go too deep into a subject you'll become esoteric, your readers won't understand what you're referring too and you are now unable to communicate to them. 

This might also be the case for subcultures also. Mass media in the 20th century worked to standardize our entertainment experience, so we could all more or less relate to each other. Today we belong to a small tribes that have been brought together through the internet. Our reference experience from the information we consume if now highly individualized, making it necessary to market as subgroups. This is also seen when trying to read literature from past centuries also, an example of this is Don Juan by Byron. It's filled with references that contemporary readers aren't familiar with but would have made sense at the time it was written. 

Therefore if the goal in writing is to target the quantity of readers the content by nature must become superficial, and attempting to improve will drive you to specialized into a smaller audience (which isn't necessary a bad thing). This content therefore has to be oversimplified, not because the audience is stupid, but because but they're just not acquainted with the library of information an expert had to acquire in order to understand his deeper ideas, which can only be shared with colleagues that have been exposed to more or less the same supporting content from their field. 

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