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The Captain’s Brief

“First of all, I’m writing things down. What I discover is, when I write things down, it forces me to think about things much deeper than I did in the past, and I get new ideas. Things I have in my mind sound very simple, but when you attempt to write them down, they become more complicated and force me to think about them.”

– Gerard ’t Hooft – Nobel Prize winning physicist.

That was his opening response to a simple question “GM: What’s the current direction you’re taking in your research?”

For details on what will be  a very complicated matter to most see: Does Some Deeper Level of Physics Underlie Quantum Mechanics? An Interview with Nobelist Gerard ’t Hooft.


When I was much younger, I tended not to write things down. Doing so was difficult and it still is. Blogging is a kind of conversation with ‘self’ though it is directed outwards. It takes a lot of effort however, the effort involved does bring a deeper insight into things considered. Importantly one discovers one’s self if nothing else. So the quotation above struck a chord, because in recent years I’ve been writing things down so much more – not with a pen, because typing is second nature to me.

Even doing mindmaps or drafting thoughts in Google docs is my way. I also have a growing pile of draft emails that I have never sent (some 122 at todays date). This represents my inner thoughts that were driven by emotions aroused – but I almost never send e-correspondence when I’m ‘hot’ about something. Now – did I say  ‘anger’? No. But I’m sure at least 2/3 of readers would have thought ‘anger’. Whilst emotion is that which drives much human thinking, it is something that can cause difficulties in itself. No dissertations today. TED is your friend – not me.

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