◉ Newsletter v.4.16 | Training v. Teaching & Writing Ideas/Tools

Hello from the American Midwest

I'm writing this on Thursday because I'm leaving for a camping trip on Friday afternoon. I'll be mostly disconnected during the trip, and what little time I am online will be to do the minimal checking of things.

Getting ready for the trip is kind of scary because I think I'm getting sick. Be that as it may, I'm getting ready and hoping for the best.

How are you?



I've been thinking a lot about the difference between training and teaching. Part of the reason I'm thinking about this is because I fear that lots of university-level education is trending away from teaching and moving closer to training.

Training, the way I think of it, is about taking information or skill and transferring it to another person. You know you've successfully trained someone when they can demonstrate that they know something they didn't before they were trained or when they can show you they can do something they couldn't do before they were trained.  

There is nothing wrong with training. For lots of things, it is a great way to get people to learn something and stuff they did not know.

Teaching, on the other hand, takes things to a deeper level. When I teach, I try to get people to understand how things work the way they do and why they work that way. If I'm teaching well, I can then get students to consider if they consent or dissent to the how and the why things work the way they do. I think it isn't easy to measure the effects of teaching.

Training is about being able to do something. Teaching is about understanding all the conditions around and effects of doing something. It is easy to measure or prove that you're reaching the desired goal.

(Teaching is far more complex than I'm stating here. I'm just trying to riff on this and sort of work out what I think by writing it in this newsletter.)


I finished both the books I was reading:

The end of Drive Your Plow was very satisfying. I think you would enjoy this book if you enjoy mysteries or detective fiction.

The ending of Outline is the last chapter, and it is wonderful. This text is an excellent example of a well-crafted structure where everything in the nine prior conversations/chapters builds to what happens in the last conversation/chapter.

I almost jumped right into Transit, the second book in the Outline trilogy by Cusk, but I decided to wait a bit before doing that. Instead, I started to read Beautiful World Where Are You by Sally Rooney. I'm not far into the book and don't have anything I want to say about it yet.

Other Reading:

My collaborator Jared Elwart had something published at The Lacanian Review Online. The piece is titled A Falling away of Guarantee, and it is about the film Everything Everywhere All At Once and what this film can teach us about psychoanalysis.

From the introduction paragraph:

Watching the trailers, one gets the impression that Everything is a science-fiction action movie about saving the multiverse from great danger. In fact, the film can be read as one possible trajectory of an analysis, and in particular a trajectory through the straits of the Other.

Jared's observations and insights are clearly stated, concise, though-provoking, and a pleasure to read. I highly recommend that everyone reading this click and give it a read.


I'm still having a hard time writing. I posted two things about the writing process I came across this week, which I found helpful. Hopefully, I'll be able to make use of this and get more things written.


While on the topic of writing: I've used many different writing applications over the years. Ulysses has been my writing app of choice for a long time, and I have used Bear as my note-taking app for a long time. The reason for this is that each app did different things I wanted. Bear allowed for internal linking of documents Wiki style. Ulysses provided an excellent writing environment with some extras that I found super useful.

Recently I switched to using iA Writer because it is the best of both worlds! I canceled my Bear subscription and imported my notes from Bea into iA Writer. I'm going to keep my Ulysses subscription active because it still does some things that iA Writer does not do... but I  think that iA Writer is the best writing app for me.

If you have not tried out iA Writer, give it a look.


I recorded another episode with Michael McAndrews, where we talked about the psychoanalytic school. It was an enjoyable conversation. I plan to get to mixing/editing it after I finish with the episode that is the third part in the series on Psychoanalytic Politics that I'm doing with the folks over at The Regrettable Century.


That's it for this week. Till next time, please, make some glorious mistakes.

-- N


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