Personal OS

Making is thinking

When I want to learn something, I usually try to work with the subject instead of thinking about the subject. I think better when I’m also creating. This learning method does not mean that I’m not thinking about the matter at hand, on the contrary. I’m thinking while also ‘doing’.

A common phrase shared among writers is writing is thinking. Writing is not only the product of your thinking, but it’s also a form of thinking in itself. The act of writing forces you to shape your thoughts into something that can be clearly communicated to others and your future self.

The famous scientist Richard Feynman put it like this:

When historian Charles Weiner looked over a pile of Richard Feynman’s notebooks, he called them a wonderful ‘record of his day-to-day work’. “No, no!”, Feynman objected strongly. “They aren’t a record of my thinking process. They are my thinking process. I actually did the work on the paper.”

Clive Thompson (2014). Smarter Than You Think. p. 7

I think the principle applies even more broadly. I believe that not only writing is thinking but also that making is thinking. When you want to learn what makes a great podcast, create a podcast yourself. More specifically, if you want to know more about the European fire ant, start a podcast about the European fire ant.