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Please learn to write. [email protected]

2:32 AM May 17 2012

Stashed in: Interconnectedness!, Words!, Practice, Communication, @ripemp, New Yorker, Math!, Writing!, Intelligence

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Please learn to write.

It's not all just about coding, says @rands ...

"Writing is the connective tissue that creates understanding. We, as social creatures, often better perform rituals to form understanding one on one, but good writing enables us to understand each other at scale."

How do you get good at writing? Practice every day.

Feel free to use PandaWhale to practice. ;)

David Ogilvy said that the best way to judge someone's intelligence was by looking at how they write. He thought that people who think well, write well. While I'm sure there are exceptions but this is a good rule of thumb and while there may be some intelligent people (perhaps more math oriented folks) whose writing is not on par with their IQ I think it would be rare indeed to find someone who writes extremely well who is not very smart.

In studies of prodigies and deliberate practice, writing peaks later. It's "harder." You can be an autistic savant in math or a violin prodigy at 15 because those are very formal systems. Learn the chiseled in stone rules quicker and you improve quicker. Informal systems like language -- and more importantly, the life experience that shows through in excellent writing -- there is no way to gain that as quickly as one may learn the inviolable rules of calculus or physics. This is probably why the Fields Medal exists for mathematicians under 40 but also why a law exists preventing people under 35 from becoming President of the US.

People who think well, write well. I like that.

I do remember reading a Malcolm Gladwell piece in the New Yorker about late bloomers. Artists and writers often "peak later", as you say.

I'm not sure why Presidents have to be over 35. I guess if you're going to carry the weight of the world, you'd better have some apropos experiences.