Does documenting thoughts change their course? – A Thought(s) Experiment

This is going to be an absolutely random piece. I’m just going to write whatever pops up into my mind, as I type away. The post could progress into a rant, or it could develop into something profound – I really have no idea which direction the post would go.

Well, this could be one way of documenting what all goes on in my mind. I have a doubt, though. It would be practically impossible to record every thought that goes on inside. So, would writing down my thoughts change the thought process itself? Would I think in a different way if I were not noting down my thoughts on paper? I know this could be a bit difficult to explain. Allow me to give you an example and open the door to what I’m thinking right now.

Let us consider a simple situation where my mind starts thinking Thought-A. I start noting it down as soon as it starts. Keep in mind that the mind is a beast with no reins. Before I have finished writing, the mind has transited through Thoughts – B, C and D. By the time, I am done documenting Thought – A, my mind is on Thought – E. So then, I write about Thought – E, skipping a few steps.

Now, my mind would start a new trajectory of thought starting from Thought – E, which would probably move in a different direction than the one that started from Thought – A. (Is all of this becoming a bit too convoluted?) But, if I hadn’t spent time writing, I would probably have resided on Thought-B a bit longer, and then, drift into a different direction from there. This means that if I wasn’t writing, I may never have reached to Thought – E, which brings me to my question – Am I actually documenting my thoughts, or am I polluting the natural progress of my thoughts by attempting to document them, and thus, passing off something altogether different as that what goes on inside my mind?

I need to break off from this thought process right away, before it turns into something that bores the shit out of you. I apologise for the language my mind chooses to use when it is in documentation mode. On a slightly related note, would it be really possible for a person to record his own thoughts, ever? A few ideas that I can quickly conjure up to tackle the practical problems are the use of shorthand & mind maps, audio recording your thoughts etc. The basic question still stays though, and I don’t think a definitive answer can be given to it, i.e. will documenting one’s own thoughts change the progression of thoughts itself? How sure can one be that he is not manipulating his thoughts by documenting what seems to be a part of what he is actually thinking?

I should maybe stop writing here. I also need to think of a title for this post now. If you have read up to here, I can safely assume that your weekly quota of wading through nonsense is now over. If you feel the whole idea of this post was something that you would love to think over, then you can thank me by sending me a box of cookies, or by offering to write my research paper for me. However, if you thought there was something meaningful coming out of the whole thing, you probably now have learnt a lesson on how to deal with disappointment. So, in effect, you are either leaving with a strange thought or a much needed life lesson! So, this post should do some good to humanity.

I’ll shut up now, seriously.


A Return to Lunacy

[Lunatic has worn his best suit (his only one) and his best perfume (of which he doesn’t know the name) for his talk tonight. He has arrived at the broadcasting studio, and after all the necessary make-up (which demanded a lot from the make-up artists who were probably hired for a radio show the first time in their lives), is now about to begin his well-prepared broadcast. He expects this to be a big deal. Others in the studio have no idea what in the world he is so confident about. Frankly, they couldn’t care less. ]

Lunatic (into the mic):

My dear friends, it has been a long sabbatical fro….

[Lunatic is interrupted when a studio personnel comes rushing into the broadcast room. Lunatic looks at him, annoyed. The personnel switches on the mic into which Lunatic was speaking, and rolls his eyes at Lunatic. With a sheepish grin that he cannot stop from erupting out, Lunatic restarts his broadcast.]

Brothers and ladies, it has been a long sabbatical from writing on my blog, and I am here, therefore, to offer an apology to all the expectant multitudes all over the lands, whom I have kept waiting for my next words.

[Voice in a hushed tone is heard from outside the radio studio. Lunatic is being informed of his fan following stats. From his reflex expressions, it is clear that the stats don’t quite match the picture he had painted in his head.]

Lunatic (covers the mic, replies to the voice) : 

What? There were just 3 people who wondered why I wasn’t posting regularly?

[Lunatic scratches his head (some dandruff brats jump from his hair onto his black suit, exposing themselves to the world) and ponders for a while. A smirk comes to his face. He asks the voice with an expression of brimming confidence]

Multi means more than one, right?

[Lunatic receives a nod from the across the glass wall of the studio. He seems pleased with himself. (Apparently, nothing can damage his over-inflated ego tonight.)]

So, technically, I’m not wrong when I call three people as MULTI-tudes, right?

Lunatic (into the mic) :

 Well, I have just received news from my stats team. I am glad to announce that the MULTI-tude can now delight themselves as I have decided to start writing again. I’m indeed sorry that I could not serve you with my thoughts for the past three and a half weeks. However, my friends, you must understa…

[A crackling noise is heard and Lunatic notices that the mic now shows a blinking orange light. He looks up at the display board which now says “Commercial Break”.]

Lunatic (to himself)

Damn it! Just when I had started rolling nice and smooth…

Lunatic (signals to the personnel outside)

How long will this break go on?

[Lunatic does not look pleased with the reply. (Apparently, the sponsors haven’t really paid enough to have the privilege of interrupting his speech.)]

Lunatic (replies back to the personnel)

Okay, but make sure that next time we get sponsors who allow me more time than they themselves use for their stupid breaks. I’m primary here, for God’s sake.

[The personnel goes out and visualises himself peeing Lunatic’s recent orders out of his mind. That thought makes him happy. It also makes him want to go and physically pee, and he goes out seeking directions to the restroom.]

[Meanwhile, inside the studio, Lunatic listens to a familiar jingle about some overenthusiastic people who cannot have enough of how refreshing their toothpaste is. He is visibly angry as he realises that his train of thought is broken. He tries to remember what he was saying, but in vain. Now he wishes he had written down what he wanted to say.]

I became aware of something now, as I desperately tried to finish this piece. A writer’s block may force you to take a break from writing, but a break from writing will definitely build up a mighty writer’s block.

I shall henceforth write routinely (the cyclic period for which I will have to think upon and decide).

If you did go through the piece that was struck through (where Lunatic is at the end of a failed attempt), you have my sincere apologies…

Post Exams Trauma!

Elders of ancient tribes have often been heard saying that all kinds of distractions (especially those videos of sleeping kangaroos on that incredibly infamous time-killer, YouTube) come knocking at your door, whilst the days are approaching your end-semester exams. I do not want to argue that statement one bit. When exams approach, I know I am always at my procrastination best (if only they had contests for it, I could have been of some worth). Continue reading