A writing piece from Scott P. Scheper.
One American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101
Saturday 2:42 pm
I'm going to tell you how I failed yesterday.
In the late hours of last night, and again this morning, I re-read the piece I wrote yesterday. There were shortcomings in terms of readability and style, yes, but I'm not referring to those things.
The failure I'm referring to concerns the whole more than the parts.
You see, before writing yesterday's letter, I did not do the first thing I should have done. Yesterday I set out to invert the main idea covered in the previous day's piece. The very first thing I should have done is... actually read what I wrote the previous day!
Instead of this, I thought, "I'm going to invert the ideas I wrote about yesterday. And being that I wrote it, that means I know all the points. I don't need to read it again... Plus, deliberate reading takes time and effort. So screw it, let's get on with just writing instead..."
It's certainly more convenient to believe we have crystal clear memories. But it's a source of error.
Is this type of error common in people or unique?
It turns out, memory-based fallacies are not unique to humans named Scott, nor the readers of his writings. In fact, memory-based cognitive fallacies comprise its own sub-field. So, yes... it's unique to one group... they're called humans.
Anyway, after re-reading both pieces this morning I realized I did not employ inversion properly.
To illustrate, I'll share one error I noticed. It comes from the end of Thursday's post:
"For that, dear reader, is the most valuable resource we have... attention."
To invert this properly, I should have argued for how attention is not valuable. However, I did not do this. In fact, the piece I wrote yesterday focused on making an even greater case for how valuable attention is!
It's best to carry out inversion by deliberately reading every single line and paragraph. The goal is to then pull out the primary concept and write an inverted version of it. The inverted version should capture the length and style of the original, but argue the opposite.
I did not do that.
And that, my friends, is how I failed yesterday.
So with that lesson learned, I shall go on proceeding with my day. If I'm lucky I'll even experience the focus of my life.
What is the focus of my life, you ask?
It's this: To fail! Because failure is feedback, feedback is growth, and growth is happiness.
Wish me luck today, in my quest... to fail!
Scott P. Scheper
Style and grammar editing take me fifty drafts (probably more) to get right. And after that, I still find grammar issues later on! I do a handful of edits with my daily writings because my most important goal is to just finish it (as part of my daily practice). I submit also another excuse for the imperfections of my daily writings in that I feel uncomfortable reading the letters out loud where I write them (in my office) because the soundproofing is rather thin and I don't want my neighbors hearing me talking out loud to myself. Reading what you write out loud is critical for style, and because of the odd ways I care about social approval in some environments, and could care less in others, I have the tendency to come short in the style department in these daily pieces. That said, I plan to experiment with this tendency by reading my writings out loud and proud some day next week (today doesn't count. It's a Saturday, I'm sweating balls, and, as usual, I'm the only one in the office——aka, I'm in paradise! ↩︎
See: Systems Theory, Mereology, Part-Whole Theory ↩︎
See: List of memory biases ↩︎
Oh, wait... I have a tendency to forget about other species. It's probably not just a human problem, either. Hmm... I wonder if there's a scientific term for the cognitive fallacy of forgetting about other species... ↩︎
"Progress equals happiness." Clifford, Catherine. “Tony Robbins: This Is the Secret to Happiness in One Word.” CNBC, October 6, 2017. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/06/tony-robbins-this-is-the-secret-to-happiness-in-one-word.html. On "Failure is feedback", I first heard this from Owen Cook (known by his alias Tyler Durden). Owen was a central figure covered in Neil Strauss' book, The Game. It's a book about pickup artists and the methods they use to attract women. I read the book in my early twenties and recall only a few things: the concept of negging and a pickup artist named "Mystery". I didn't apply the teachings in the book, partly because of embarrassment after a friend who caught me reading it. Actually that's a lie. It's mostly because I'm "socially reserved". Especially when it comes to situations that require one to approach strangers. In other words, I'm a complete wimp. Regardless, I got married a few years later at 24. Though the book can't take much credit... as she was the one that asked me out! However, my experience of pickup artistry was not yet dead in the life story of Scott Scheper, no sir! For I went through a divorce at age 29. Several years later I decided to give the idea a go again——a much bigger go! I had worked for nearly a decade like a maniac. The luster of my wealth matched the lackluster of my women! Thus, I decided to deploy some of the wealth on... let's call it... a "social experiment". It was roughly $3,000. It entailed putting myself through the Navy SEAL bootcamp version of meeting women. It took place in Santa Monica at popular places and clubs and lasted from Thursday to Sunday morning (day and night). During this time I approached whatever woman I was told to by the legend himself, Owen Cook (aka "Tyler Durden" from The Game). This includes groups who were sitting at their tables in restaurants. t included many fails! And from doing this, I picked up a life philosophy gem from Owen: failure is feedback. I, and a few others in the group, got to see how Owen picks up women. No matter the setting or situation, watching him was an incredible learning experience.... Anyway. I went off on a tangent here. I just wrote more than warranted about more than warranted. Now back to today's piece! ↩︎
Scott P. Scheper