100 Summaries 2010
Summary is the cornerstone of intellectual life.
We use it to find the most important parts of a thing and remember what it is. Summary is courteous in a conversation, respecting the time and interests of others. It is the building material of wise choices and the mortar for constructive arguments. A good summary demonstrates deep knowledge without wasting time going into detail.
Summary is one of the few intellectual practices shared by nearly everyone. It is essential for communication, critique, and learning.
Some day, I plan to teach students how to think and write. Their future will depend on my explanations of summary, and my ability to assign grades to their work. Their education and life prospects may well depend on my understanding of the simple summary.
Urged by expectation of responsibility (and inspired by DaVinci's notebook experiments), I am practicing the art of summary-making.
This summer, alongside the artists, poets, and film-makers of the 100days project, I will try to make 100 summaries in 100 days. I will try to summarize many different kinds of ideas, experiences, and art. I will play with interlocking combinations of visual, poetic, and textual summary. I hope to improve, I hope to replace naive assumptions with less naive ones. I hope to have fun.
This initial post documents some initial goals and assumptions which I plan to revisit as the project goes on. It is published in Emberlight.