Aviation and writing

We only perceive differentials. Only through acceleration or deceleration are we able to discern movement. Constant speed does not register. We need context, too, a single sense might betray us. Without visual reference, forward acceleration can be mistaken for a pitch-up movement. Thus, pilots have flown their airplane into the ground in 0/0 visibility takeoffs.

In writing, or art in general, we might strive to produce beauty by cutting away anything that appears ambiguous and ugly to us. In the attempt to even out the troughs, we don’t notice that the peaks shrink away as well. The intention was to produce an aggreable hit song. Fear set in to veer off, instead, into Klingon opera territory by allowing room for confusion, regret, fear and disappointment. The result will be the kind of bland elevator music that barely registers. A hollow lie, more depressing than the ugly truth.

Equally, hardly anything is black or white. Our brains are wired to reduce complex information to a simple message. However, an overall picture can be computed out of shades of grey. Occam’s razor, for instance, is a sharp tool: with two competing hypotheses, choose the one less reliant on assumptions. The left side of the brain finds order this way. The right side accepts the chaos and is comforted by fearless art illuminating the beauty and the struggle.


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