inverse dictionary

I have a lot of ideas.  So many, in fact, that I need more words than I know, more time than I have, and more tools than I understand how to use in order to bring them to fruition.  Until Matrix-esque plug-in knowledge (a la “I know kung fu“) rolls around,  I would love a tool that helps me find a word I wonder about by inputting the definition.  Does something like this exist?  I think it would inspire me just by being cool.

I read a great quote yesterday: “you can’t do much about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth,”  True.  I hope all of you are living well and exploring the unknown and doodling and sharing ideas and writing to people who inspire you.  That last one is the trick to loving your inbox.  When people I respect send thoughtful correspondence it makes me smile at least 1/4″ wider.

I’ve been looking for a word that means “interesting, stimulating, challenging, exciting” for about 6 years now.  I will give it one more year until I pull a Shakespeare and make up my own.  Creativity, procrastination or patience hmm.

Continue Reading

What are you passionate about?

Yesterday I was asked “what are you passionate about?”  Refreshing.  And told to answer in 100 words or less.  Interesting challenge.

This question in the TEDGlobal application catechism caught my attention.  At first I scoffed.  How can I capture my zest in 100 words..I need a thousand, ten thousand.. and then I began to write. 

Scoff turns to intrigue as I realize this is a conversation with a quiet comrade, not a monologue.  Who am I, what fuels me is the question.  Introduce, don’t preach.  Outline my horizon.

I think high and wide and a hurricane of vocabulary in strange grammatical structure erupts from my brain.   Thoughts of thousands of words melt into hundreds, then dozens.  This challenge poises an opportunity for precise creative thinking.  As I progress in my answer I am captured by the notion that my initial reaction has morphed into a beautiful realization. 

I used the 100 words to create a chromosome of passion.  This is an outline of me, not the complete expression.  In this attempt to densely pack  myself into 100 words I found, surprisingly, that my passion required just four.  And I am delighted to share them with you.

Question:  What are you passionate about?

“Curiosity.  Endless exploration and perpetual discovery. History, etymology, literature (Seneca, Voltaire, Nietzsche+), scientific theory, travel, the human mind…My greatest curiosity is consciousness and how “I” exists.  I am obsessed with systems and complexity. Interdisciplinarity fuels my revelry in reality’s infinite variety.  Bilateral symmetry, philharmonic sound, fractals, posture, creativity, the wild..adamantly I focus and refocus my perception of the world and myself.  A dynamic innovative mind am I who lives for both the unexpected surprise and long developed accomplishment. In 100 words I need but four to tell you:  My passion is life.”

We should all be asked this more frequently.  Have a go, what are you passionate about?

Continue Reading

Language Implications

A letter in this weeks Economist commented that we “need people who can make something of data and create information to guide decision-making”. This was enough to start a neural avalanche regarding the relation between data and information.

Data quantifies qualities along variable attributes correlating to an “event” or representing a set of “events”.

“Information is data that has been processed in such as way as to be meaningful,” [1,2] Also, “A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn” (‘statistical data’) [3]

Meaning signifies implication. “Implication is deductive inferred logical relation. ‘ if p then q: if p is true then q cannot be false'” [4] From quality information we can differentiate complex systems and model them with equations.

Data is fed into our neural system from our senses over time with systemic repetition and correlated via lingual adaptation into information. Information is then relayed off itself, forming concepts (information systems). Concepts are comprised of variable lingual attributes and exhibit meaningful complexity, described by the lingual structure from which they are formed.

Cognition is functionally different across various lingual data systems (concepts), which are then organized within a grammatical framework relative to other concepts. This is self-organization. Might a cohesive pattern emerge in neural functionality if we could see specific neuron systems forming new “concepts” via grammatic relations in order to more efficiently process increasingly complex ideas? Could “more meaningful information” imply a denser Set of data (information) to which the concept could potentially be applied? Our minds create a conscious whole greater than the sum of its parts by processing words into concepts and integrating different concepts to create experientially new thoughts, which are in turn described by new lingual formations and even entirely new words and ideas. This process simplifies the energetic input required to think a difficult thought by utilizing information, rather than data, and compounding meaningful representations of it across multiple meaningful systems. Aristotle’s Holism and Occam’s Razor together make a concept that I refer to as “complex energy density”.

Thoughts from the forefront of theoretical science,


Continue Reading