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robertogreco : summary   6

The atomic sentence - Bobulate
“If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”

That’s Richard Feynman from Lectures on Physics. While he’s referring to scientific knowledge, I considered how his question might apply to what we do. How could we meaningfully sum up what we do in a few words?

I love these sorts of challenges, forcing us to be brief, working with constraints. No small task. Yet, encapsulating an entire design profession seemed a rather daunting — and fleeting — task, thus, I developed a daily practice.

At the end of each day, I write an “atomic sentence,” a single statement that summarizes the most vital lesson about that day.

More than zero

At times where I flail, fumble, and otherwise seek a signpost, these sentences have helped — personal lifelines indicating a larger story. Each day, an atomic unit in a living network.

Over the years, my atomic sentences have included:

• "Make sure you believe in what you start as there are only two ways it can end: you will finish it or it will finish you."
• "When you step in the stream, the water doesn’t pass you by (although the risk of drowning does increase)."
• "Letting go is in fact — or perhaps only sometimes — letting in."
• "Certainty made clear by uncertainty; safety by danger."
• "Every person is just a person trying to be a person."
• "Make starts, not ends."

Hurry off, for at least a sentence’s worth of time, to make your own."
lizdanzico  summary  writing  sentences  atomicsentences  brucefeynman  brevity  contraints  thinking  2014 
september 2014 by robertogreco
The Studentry
"Every weekday morning, The Studentry publishes a summary of the most interesting or most covered stories in the college press.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR FELLOW STUDENTS I read lots and lots of student papers every day, but I miss a good number in that process. If you’re really excited about something your paper’s about to publish, please let me know! And if you read the Studentry, and you think I’m missing quality work you or someone else is doing, please also let me know.

You can get in touch through Twitter, at @TheStudentry or @yayitsrob."
collegepress  studentry  universities  colleges  summary  news  robinsonmeyer 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Less Is More: Using Social Media to Inspire Concise Writing - NYTimes.com
"How can online media like Twitter posts, Facebook status updates and text messages be harnessed to inspire and guide concise writing? In this lesson, students read, respond to and write brief fiction and nonfiction stories, and reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of “writing short.”"

[Related: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/opinion/20selsberg.html AND http://www.pdscompasspoint.com/?p=4466 ]
writing  literature  twitter  facebook  brevity  classideas  fiction  stories  storytelling  socialmedia  summary  texting  constraints 
april 2011 by robertogreco
How not to do it | The Compass Point
"So once we are over the shock horror of the faux fears that this means the end of literature, let’s remember the distinction between the leisurely novel and the haiku. Both have their place. And with the time saving from precise non-literary and meditative communication there is time for both.

Maybe Jane Austen who wrote of “… the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush” is the model. She certainly knew how to skewer  human absurdity with the tightly constructed sentence."

[Related: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/opinion/20selsberg.html ]
josieholford  writing  brevity  twitter  literature  humor  precision  classideas  communication  history  summary 
april 2011 by robertogreco
How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand (Phil Gyford’s website)
"It’s taken me years to get round to buying and reading this book (and months to type the notes up), but it was worth the wait. It made me look at buildings and the building process differently, and I’ve had to re-evaluate what I think of as good design when it comes to architecture. The pictures (one or more on almost every page) are invaluable. Go read it."

[See also the videos: http://smashingtelly.com/2008/08/04/how-buildings-learn-uploaded-by-stewart-brand-himself/ (alternate link in the comments of Gyford's post) ]
stewartbrand  books  architecture  urbanism  planning  design  summary  buildings  community  place  workspace  offices  construction  schooldesign  philgyford  howbuildingslearn  2004  workspaces 
january 2009 by robertogreco
School of Arts & Sciences - University of Pennsylvania
"Every spring and fall, SAS faculty take a minute out on Locust Walk to share their perspectives on topics ranging from human history and the knowable universe, to fractions and fly-fishing. While not every speaker makes it under the one-minute mark, they
academia  lectures  speed  education  video  culture  reference  history  science  presentations  language  learning  summary  entertainment  literature  arts  humor 
april 2008 by robertogreco

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