Word Theory

Even though I’m not artistically inclined, particularly, I’ve always been fascinated by color theory. The way there can be rules and methods to something as seemingly subjective as “which colors are pretty together,” and the way that ties into everything from math to biology just has this spark of the divine order, for me.

(Want to have a fun twenty-minute distraction that will blow your mind? Here you go: https://youtu.be/wh4aWZRtTwU)

As my mind wandered a bit while thinking about this, I started thinking about colors as information. Any sort of sensory perception is information transfer. And whenever you have a deliberate, repeated form of information transfer, the human mind will have preferred ways of experiencing that information.

We can find one picture prettier than another, even if both are pictures of a house we want to study. We find mnemonic devices enhance our memory – rhyming information is easier to retain, and often more pleasant. We find compelling narratives easier to comprehend than dry facts. We like symbols over words for many concepts.

You can make any information easier to transfer if you also pay attention to the aesthetics. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, after all.

Of course, therein lies the danger. A spoonful of sugar makes the poison go down, too. The fact that beautiful information is easier to comprehend also makes it easier to believe, because we all want to live in a universe where truth is beauty and beauty truth.

And thus my strange paradox: when I write, I want the words to be prose. I want it easier for you to read. But when I read, I want cold iron, because I do not want to be tricked or lured.

I want to give to the world truth as I comprehend it. No matter the color.

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