My Considered Opinion?

(Originally posted 2013-09-16.)

If you’re looking for a considered opinion you came to the wrong place. 🙂 Or so anyone reading Down In The Dumps? shortly after reading Enigma And Variations Of A Memory Kind might conclude.

It’s possibly a fair cop, possibly not, but it got me thinking…

In reality life is a sequence of experiences, many of which we hopefully learn something from. But it’s a journey of understanding and the question is when to “cut and run”:

Take the “dump accommodation” question, as it’s exemplified by the two posts I led with. You might consider it better to have written about both aspects as one post, rather than two. And that would’ve perhaps happened if I’d waited to pursue the “when is DUMPSRV busy?” line of enquiry. But, by that argument, you’re maybe never ready to publish.

There’re two mental models I have that relate to this:

1) The thinking peters out after a while – and that’s when you decide your opinion is a considered one.

(But when is that exactly? It’s rather like microwave popcorn, popping at a decreasing rate until maybe there’re no more pops.) But here you never quite know.

2) The thinking carries on for an arbitrarily long time, perhaps increasing and perhaps just varying.

In some things I think the “peters out until an opinion can be declared considered” is right but for most it isn’t: Because experience builds – if you let it.

One of the benefits of waiting for your opinion to be a considered one is incorporating amplifications and extensions. In normal conversation, though, a "forget everything since ‘good morning"’ situation occurs quite frequently. Fortunately that’s rare in stuff I write (and I’d like to think I recognise such things and handle them appropriately). So there’s a difference between conversation and publishing.

It seems to me sometimes I don’t give people the space to break in. That’s probably true (and not an endearing fault) but the “iterative” publication approach should give people the chance to break in and give their perspective. And for me to acknowledge it and handle it well.

I also think the “publish when you’ve got enough” approach is helpful in keeping post sizes down: Though you might disagree it limits them enough.

In summary, knowing when to publish and how much is a matter of judgment. It’s difficult to get it right and I wouldn’t claim I always do. Or in other words: This explains it all. 🙂

And that’s my considered opinion. Or is it? 🙂

Published by Martin Packer

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