rethinking the situation: musing on writing & thought silos….

Pexels. Dimitry Daltonik, photographer.

by LJ Frank

What have I done? After all these years seeking a situation that would allow full expression of who I was……what did I surround myself with and whom, purposefully and un-purposefully? Fate, karma, divine intent, chance……selecting the wrong door to look behind or open or road to travel? That road is muddy now and filled with aging potholes with empty vegetable stands, concrete yards, bio-engineered crops, and cloned farm animals.

I gain insight into the self and the world around me from the quiet of an empty cathedral or Buddhist temple or in a favorite position and uttering the primordial sound of “om” ….…still, in a more profound sense I gain the deepest thought through the seemingly simple act of writing.

My behavior has been modified by my environment and silos of learning and working…. B.F. Skinner not withstanding……

Writing is for me the first step in a deliberative thought process. I write simultaneously as I think. Writing draws the words out of my head and heart. I write or type words down that encourages more thoughts. I sometimes wonder which comes first in that splinter of a mini-second.

This is the muddy road I am traveling on right now. I know more storms are on the horizon. I can smell the coming rain in the air. It’s my situation and the context of my existence. I am guided by environment, economics, politics, and a host of things I am uncertain of. Ambiguity makes for an interesting life.

 Writing is essential to my thought and the survival of my sanity and pleasure, even if it makes no sense to anyone other than me. The interchange between writing and thought deepens my soul and enhances the raison d’etre.

 My education, business, government, and consulting experiences have occurred within the context and situation of knowledge and information silos for the most part…with some exceptions.

Decades ago, businesses, especially large companies, regardless of product indulged themselves in silo conversations and the cylindrical approach to doing business, hence, the farmer’s silo symbol. The resulting cylindrical of thought process produced what I call the silage effect of the mind, like the grains that feed the farm animals.

The alternatives? A variety of them were experimented with according to Harvard Business Review in articles over the years.  Since the 1980’s there’s been an increase in information, ideological division, relationship and political silos and the resulting grains are fed to the people within designated silo supported groups.

Thinking outside the silo (box) is complicated when the silo is designed to draw (live/work) within the circular nature of the silo. Stay “group” focused. Think globally even though you are stuck in a thought silo.

The focus for me is that the jigsaw puzzle of writing and thought is ancient. Writings from far as back as 3000 B.C.E…. in Egypt the wisdom toward the use of words over fighting, and further back in time maps were drawn in the sand by ancient travelers, to carvings in stone to the concept of the written word as an instrument of negotiation, recognition, and destination in life…… the process of evoking words in speech, drawing, and writing became inseparable from the process we call thinking. The writer, artist, and speaker expand his or her own thinking through the written and spoken word with writing being preeminent.

 When a writer wrote words on a page, they would expand their own thoughts and inevitably forms of striking out words and phrases were employed. Editing and revision occurred as writing and thinking progressed.

In ancient Egypt, Greece, and China for example, the wisdom seekers, from Pathhotep in Egypt to Confucius and Qu Yuan in China, to Aristotle in Greece to name a few understood that each word written was a catalyst for deeper thought and reflection.

Context/situation retained a fluidity in history through the act of writing and creates a dilemma for silo thinking and the compromise of artificial silage to be ingested.

And writing today? Artificial Intelligence may be offering promise but is that promise within the cylindrical design of a silo, whereby the intent and motivation is to stay within the “profit” circle?

What is our thinking process today and what will happen when the AI software becomes pseudo-humanized? Will we be able to step outside that emerging situation? When does our situation become – too late? What do we hold on too?