I’ve been working on aspects of advanced swordsmanship with two of the most extraordinary swordsmen in the world, and we’ve been bashing our heads in (so to speak) trying to figure out how to write about what we do. One of these guys is a physicist/engineer and the other guy just exists on a different physical and intellectual planet than the rest of us, so the problem of communicating with ordinary people like me is not an easy one. The physicist wants to talk about OODA loops and attentional coefficient problem solving, and the other guy wants to create a “context free grammar” to describe the expressed activity of the “jo-ha-kyu” structure of swordsmanship. No, I don’t have any idea of what I’m writing about right now, either.
But after much figurative and literal head and hand bashing, we hit upon the keen idea of simply exchanging emails with the simple topic heading “One Thing I know about ….” Each person states in 2 – 4 sentences a single concept found in our activity, in as simple language as he is capable of using. When the others read that email, they respond to all with another single, simple idea. And so on.
Using this method, we’ve already come up with a rather long list of core concepts. In a month or two, we’ll organize the entries, edit them, and decide whether they make sense as a manual for our art, or if we need to take other steps to sharpen them or make them more useful for our potential readers.
Do you have any tasks that could be conveniently dealt with using this email method?