The Tyranny Of Words

In Life by Brian Koberlein7 Comments

I haven’t been writing as many posts of late. Part of this is due to the usual time constraints of work and family, and part of it is due to a new large project that’s been ramping up recently. But part of it is due to the limitations of my own writing. 

I can’t say too much about the new project, but one of its central goals is to convey some of the emotions behind scientific discovery.  The sublime beauty of a theory, or the numinous sense of cosmic scale. It’s hard to do, particularly if you want to move beyond the trite passages that are used far too often. So I’m having to learn new ways of expressing ideas, which is a challenge. It’s so much easier to fall into the old pattern of simply explaining ideas and reasoning.

As we’ve all seen recently, our emotional reaction to facts and ideas is often more powerful than the facts and ideas themselves. We are not just thinking creatures but feeling ones, and sometimes we need to plant emotional hooks before we can convey scientific understanding. We also have to be careful not to overuse an emotional ploy, we fall into the trap of equating feelings and facts. There’s a balance that can be reached where scientific knowledge and emotional connections can reinforce each other. Some science writers achieve that balance masterfully, while others such as myself only aspire to find a balance of their own.

Long story short, I’m focusing a bit more on learning and a bit less on writing at the moment, so I beg your patience as I strive to overcome the tyranny of words.


  1. I noticed your absence and am happy to hear about your new project. I appreciate your existence as a fellow human being no matter what you’re doing.

  2. Glad to hear you’re on a new project! Understanding emotion is crutial, i believe it’s our arrow of evolution, history itself was written with emotion and so will be the future! Seeing you engaging yourself into something out of your comfort zone give you all my respect Sir! Have fun and good luck!

  3. God Bless. I hope you achieve your goal and wish you and your family well. We all have experienced tyranny of words. I believe sometimes it’s not the words themselves. The written word is read and interpreted by the reader. Sometimes it is best for the words to be heard with the intent of the writer and/or speaker. We all have gifts. Try not to be too hard on yourself. We are all human.

  4. Id love to see a post advertising some of these science writers who have done a masterful work at connecting feeling and reason. What are you favorite science books and why?

  5. The best people to deal with are those that only get emotional about the facts!

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