October 28, 2019

Two quotes from Barbara Tversky's "Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought":
Space places two fundamental constraints on movement, constraints that are reflected in thought: proximity--near places are easier to get to than far ones; and gravity--going up is more effortful than going down.
The second is very near and dear to my heart:
Speed and accuracy trade off in just about everything we do; the trick, as with all trade-offs, is to find the sweet spot.
(This a side-effect of her first of Nine Laws of Cognition: "There are no benefits without costs.") At some point in my development, some dial got twisted all the way up, so I look at the surface broad stroke interactions of things and have a hard time attending to their fine detail, or inner being. I think this has allowed me to punch above my intellectual weight in some cases - I'm an extremely fast reader (i.e., a skimmer who goes back to the tough bits) and having this speed to always go back and check things was a huge help on the SAT.

For what it's worth, I corresponded briefly with the author - about a tweet's worth of thought from me, but she's not publically on twitter, and so I'm sort of charmed with how many academics will have their email on their public-facing web page, and how many authors are willing to spare a quick email reply to a polite reader.
Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'
Anne Lamott, "Bird by Bird"

LOL, Watching Trump and Melania's faces fall as the way the crowd is booing them sinks in...