I write this blog like a Calcuttan that write poetry

“Calcutta is, above all, a city of scribblers. It seems that all Calcuttans feel that they have a right to see their opinions and prejudices in print. “There are two things you will find in the middle-class Bengali characters,” claims Nirmalaya Archarya above the din of ceiling on Bankin Chatterjee Street just off College Street. “They try to write poetry, every Bengali considers himself a poet, and they try to bring out one little magazine.”” — Travelers’ Tales India: True Stories

Calcuttans seems to be born bloggers

I am seeing myself as a Calcuttan when I am writing this blog. I do not have a particular talent in writing, but I am “self-publishing” them. Good or not, I only do what I started to like: writing. I like to write, like Calcuttan scribes. Am I a blogger or not? I do not know, but I am seeing myself as it, like Calcuttans that are seeing themselves as poets.

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The best waterproof pouch for your Moleskine notebook

I am considering to start a travel blog for my next trip to India. However, given the Internet infrastructure there (I am not talking about the major cities), the challenge could be interesting. It is a back to the future with their 33,6k and 56,6k phone modems.

It is why I bought 2 large Moleskine notebooks some months ago. I do not think that I will have the luxury to have a computer for 4 or 5 hours in a row to draft, correct, publish and talk with my readers. It is why I will draft all my posts in the notebooks before publishing them. However, what if I get caught by the rain? No worry, I found the best waterproof travel pouch for these Moleskines notebooks! My Moleskine perfectly fit into the pouch; it seems that it was specifically created for this purpose.

What is interesting is that when I will get them out of my backpack, people will think that I am pulling out some type sailor gears. No, it is not, it is a heavy duty Moleskine waterproof pouch.

I found this pouch in a local CAA service center for only 3.5$CAN. This product is manufactured by Coghlans, a Canadian company. I do not know where you can find such pouches in your Country, and unfortunately you cannot buy them on the Internet from them their website. However, there are some Internet retailers that sell them. Do not search anymore for a waterproof pouch for your Moleskine notebook, you just found it.

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Why do I read science fiction books? – The beginning of my literacy life

As I said, I’ll gradually put texts in my bookshelf section that will tell you why I read these books. The first book I read by my own was a science fiction one called: “Les Thanatonotes”. Soon after, I read all Isaac Asimov’s books. I never read in my childhood, I was too busy to build shacks and towers in the wood. I needed to work in a book store to open myself to books. Since then, I can’t see my life without reading.

I need to thank science fiction books. They opened me to the world of literacy and helped me to see benefits in reading. When I started to read the Fondation chronicle of Asimov, I was so entertained by the story that I go through the 5 books in some weeks. I soon discover that science fiction books are far more than entertaining stories. The authors have the possibility to explore the science world with another eye. They can make their scientific fantasies a reality. They can explore the impact of such fantasies on the human society.

By example, if I remember right, Arthur C. Clark has “invented” the geostationary satellite before scientists think about building and sending them into space. Or Isaac Asimov created and popularized the word and concept “robot”. It was a contractor fascinated by his “robot” concept that built the first industrial robot for one of his factory. This is just some examples of what science fiction trend could bring to the readers and the society. It can be seem as an experimentation laboratory.

Personally I’m reading science fiction books in a quest for new ideas; to see things differently. Sometimes, when I’m reading a science fiction book, some ideas come up in my mind. Then I muse on them and see if I can do something with them. They could be, or not, in relation with what I’m reading. But the fact is there, and my goal was reached, they were trigged by my reading.

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The place of mind maps and traditional writing in the creative process

Some days ago I had a discussion with Niall about mind maps. We were talking about the fact that mind maps are far more flexible than linear notes. However, one method could be better than another depending of you and your needs. I mused about the place of mind maps and traditional writing in the creative process.

Vincent Ryan Ruggiero in his book The Art of Thinking describes the creative process in four stages:

1. Searching for challenges

  • “The first stage of the creative process represents the habit of searching for challenges, not at one specific time, but constantly. Its importance is reflected in the fact that you can be creative only in response to these challenges that you perceive.”

2. Expressing the problem or issue

  • “The objective in this stage is to find the best expression of the problem or issue, the one that will yield the most helpful ideas “A problem properly stated,” noted Henry Hazlitt, “is a partly solved”. Because different expressions open different avenues of thought, it is best to consider as many expressions as possible. One of the most common mistakes made in addressing problems and issues is to see them from one perspective only and thus to close off many fruitful avenues of thought.”

3. Investigating the problem or issue

  • “The objective of this stage is to obtain the information necessary to deal effectively with the problem or issue. In some cases, this will mean merely searching your past experience and observation for appropriate material and bringing it to bear on the current problem. In others, it will mean obtaining new information through fresh experience and observation, interviews with knowledgeable people, or your own research.”

4. Producing idea

  • “The objective in this stage is to generate enough ideas to decide what action to take or what belief to embrace.”

Now, what are the places of mind maps and traditional writing in these stages?

At stage one, the mind maps are well designated to answer to the need. Mind maps would be created each time we face a new challenge, each time we see a problems or an issue with a certain process. What is important to remember at that stage is that we need to constantly review the mind maps we have done, we need to find links between them. It is important to find these links because it will help us to view the problems or issues with a different eye.

At stage two, mind maps are also privileged. The links previously found will help us to aboard the problem or issue with many perspectives.

At stage three, mind maps always best fit the need. However, in this case what we like is the flexibility characteristic of mind maps: their ease updatability. As Niall said, they are much easier to update than linear notes. Then we can easily update old mind maps facts with new ones.

For the stage four, I will divide it in two sub-stages: (1) the act of producing many ideas and (2) the act of defining some of these ideas. In the first sub-stage, the mind maps or free writing always have their place. We do not need to bother us with clarity; the only things we need are ideas, many of them. However, we will eventually need to clarify them, to structure them for us and for other. We enter in a stage of writing for others. In this sub-stage, we try to refine some of our ideas. We need to put a light on some of them; we need them to be reviewed by our peers. In this process we will ask ourselves many questions. We will write and rewrite our most promising ideas. In this stage, the mind maps of these ideas are here to help us to make a plan for the writing. However, they are useless for their presentation to others. Mind maps are the expressions of our cognitive process but are worthless to others and lack depth. The traditional writing will structure, refine and deepens our ideas. It will make them clear and usable for their communication to others.

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Now I think that I know what writing mean

In reality I don’t really know what it means but I tasted it

Sorry for my lack of blogging in past days. I had been overwhelmed by the writing of my article called Secure Web Feed Protocol. I rewrote it 4 times. As I said in a previous post I was only supposed to post the idea here, on this blog. Finally I sent a whole article to the PST05 security conference. It’s my first interaction with the world of publishing. The only thing I know is that I learned many things in the process and that I have many others to learn, accepted or not. I don’t really care about the outcome because I loved the experience and already learned a lot by doing it.

The main thing I learned was what writing means. I read some books about writing in past few months. They all said that writing is rewriting; that writing is a process. Now I know what they mean. If you don’t understand what you wrote, how people can? The only trick is to rewrite it as long as your thoughts are not clears.

Writing is learning? I learned a lot then. I not only learned on writing, I also learned on the subject I was writing on. Why? Because “writing is thinking is learning” — William Zinsser.

writing learning paper security