Thinking and Writing

Posted on April 23, 2017

Today I was going through the legendary Edger W Dijkstra’s home page. I need not say anything about his contributions and influences that he holds over generations of computer scientists to come. One can not but notice how prolific writer that he was. How comprehensive his writings were, and how carefully he would write his thoughts.

Leslie Lamport in his book Specifying Systems quotes Guindon, Writing is a nature’s way of letting you know how sloppy your thinking is.

I have a reason to remember this quote and Dijkstra’s extensive numbered EWDs. Recently, we have been discussing a lot about a product idea at my work. So much so that we had already spent about a year in discussing without much of an outcome. Probably we created dozens of power point presentations, small POCs, technical evaluations, but all of those could not conclude into anything that was useful in any sense.

Then I started writing notes about what we have discussed and the way of communicating to different people in a very formal way. We still have a powerpoint and discussion culture, however, my perspective got clarified a lot, and many things that could not be said over a powerpoint, I could find myself writing in words.