Apr 25

On Writing

By Kenneth Feucht FeuchtBlog Add comments

Writing tends to be my weakness. I’ve never felt comfortable composing a sentence, let alone a paragraph, chapter or book. Those that read what I have posted will quickly identify grammatical errors, spelling errors, and nonsensical sentences. When pointed out to me, I can immediately identify what I did wrong, though I rarely see these mistakes during the composition of the writing. Perhaps this was the fault of the public school system and me not getting Mr. Boniwell for senior high school English class. College English classes were a total joke, and didn’t require one to be able to write or even to spell. Much of the writing done in college is in a technical style, which has some rigid forms and much easier to master than writing on things philosophical or as commentary. Regardless, one will note that I have written a modest amount (see the Veroffentlichungen section of this webpage). I also am chiefly responsible for Occasional Specimens, a newsletter that our practice sends out every 3-4 months. Unlike my Reading List which is quite lengthy, I have no aspirations to write anything major at this time except for short blurbs on this blogsite. I will die without a magnum opus, unless you call my Ph.D. thesis a magnum opus—it is more like an opus dei.

My fascination with writing is provoked by seeing others writing and getting published. Particularly, I noted that brother Dennis used to have an ACC Journal, edited by him and Jim Fodor, and eventually Joe Haring. These journals came out during the years 1983-1987 at a time when I was living in Chicago and enduring residency and doing my Ph.D. work. Dennis had attempted to reform the AC Church to thinking more about their doctrine and belief systems. These Journals have been recently scanned and posted on the internet, with only 1 issue missing. In the long run, I’m not sure if the publication did any good, but I’d have to allow the editors to speak for that. Dennis no longer belongs to the ACC and lives out of country. Joe Haring is dead, and Jim Fodor now teaches at a Papist college, with a belief system that I’d identify as theologically liberal (i.e., non-Christian). Many of the other authors no longer belong to the ACC, or have moved on in life. Maybe they were writing to themselves?

Which leads to the question as to why we write? Perhaps most writing is writing to the self. Perhaps it is a clarification of the mind, an organization of thoughts, a systemization of concepts, a way to pass time. I wonder of all that is written, how much is actually read. Anything longer than what I have written up to this point tends to be passed over, as the contemporary mind cannot tolerate an attention span greater than about 30 seconds. because it is easier for anybody to write and publish to the world, we are barraged with massive volumes of “important” script that we could not possibly have the time to read, even should we be able to read for 24 hours/day and live as long as Methuselah. This constrains me to write less, write pithy, write summaries of thought rather than volumes of detail. Anything more than what can be read in several minutes will be a matter of writing to the self.

So, I will read much, and write little.

 

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3 Responses to “On Writing”

  1. Onkel Dennis says:

    Those who write can indeed wonder if any of it is read nowadays. With the Internet, information is so overwhelming that habits of superficial perusal have become widespread. Few are reading slowly and thinking about what they read any more.

    I wonder whether my articles on technical subjects at http://www.en-genius.net and http://www.how2power.com are read by anyone. Or the ones at

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/cest/

    on engineering from a biblical outlook. The web statistics say they are being accessed, yet is there a single person who has gone through them carefully enough to understand them? Ich weiss nicht. Because I have, so it seems to me, made some advancements in power electronics, I have no evidence that the world has picked up on any of it, except a magnetics consortium who asked to reprint an article in their magazine on magnetics design optimization.

    Yet I am not surprised that technical advancement in the world is so slow. I have basic, important concepts in my analog circuit design books that were known at Tektronix decades ago yet have not become widespread in electronics engineering. Jonathan has been blessed to have been exposed to them, so he might well become an analog hot-shot if he sticks with it.

    “… me not getting Mr. Boniwell for senior high school English class. College English classes were a total joke, and didn’t require one to be able to write or even to spell.”

    Boniwell taught senior high-school English as though it were ivy-league college English at Brown U. where he came from. The Greek and Latin etymology was well worth it, but the many assigned books from the genre of the Theater of the Absurd were, well, absurd. So Boniwell was a mixed bag. He used to do radio performances in Portland of Egdar Allen Poe stories and had a piano and organ at right angles in his apartment which he would play simultaneously.

    My college freshman introduction to English was taught by some lunatic who joined the Hopi Indian tribe. It showed me early that English majors are fit to drive taxi cabs, if that. If I were Provost Maximus, I would abolish English departments (and education depts) entirely and distribute what little they teach into the other fields, since all use or are involved in the use of language and in teaching. That would leave the university faculties with fewer perverts.

    I didn’t know the ACC Journal was on the web. We had a small but zealous readership. People of the kind who liked the ACCJ were generally inclined to live in a bigger box than the ACC was (or is) in, though the ACCJ seemed to be helpful along the way. Joe Haring never was editor; he only thought he might be but did nothing. Jim and I did all the work.

  2. Dennis;
    I won’t read your technical articles, but I do read all of your comments to me. Keep writing!
    Ken

  3. Onkel Dennis says:

    Ken,

    Try some of my regular articles in the ASA Christian Engineers and Scientists in Technology (CEST) newsletter at the above weblink. It is more of the same zany stuff you can either strongly agree or disagree with but it won’t leave you lukewarm!

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