“For example, metadata are data about data.”
I was doing that thing where you have conversations in your head about stuff with other yous with other points of view even though it’s just you and yourself.
And then I started thinking about why do I have these conversations with myself and myself and myself in my head when there are means for me to have these conversations with actual real people like here at the SDMB and in the nudest colony.
And then I started thinking about why the hell am I wasting my time thinking about what I was thinking about what I was thinking about.
But thankfully my brain rebooted. I’m much rootbeer now.
Here’s a good one: Why is the word “dictionary” in the dictionary? If you’re reading a dictionary you know what the word means, right? And if you don’t know what the word means, how could you ever find out?
In all seriousness though, ‘thinking about thinking’ is (IMO) one of the most productive routes to creativity, invention and productivity. Pretty much the entire life work of Edward de Bono (coined the term ‘lateral thinking’ and invented many other widely-adopted thinking tools) comprises ‘thinking about thinking’.
All of the industry best practice frameworks (Agile, PRINCE2, LEAN, Six Sigma, ITIL, The Deming Cycle, etc) - are all really about ‘thinking about thinking’
You might wish to learn the etymology, pronunciation, or plural form. (I’d say the spelling too, but that’s on the cover.) The last two aren’t likely to be a mystery to most adult native speakers of English, but dictionaries are often consulted by people who have not yet mastered the language.
Ah, autological and heterological words. There’s a cool paradox in there, as mentioned in the linked article (and described in more detail here).
An autological word is a word that describes itself. The word “short” is short, so “short” is autological. The opposite is a heterological word, which is a word that does not describe itself. The word “long” is not long, so “long” is heterological. So far, so good. Here’s the problem, though: Is the word “heterological” autological or heterological? Does it describe itself or not? Let’s look at both possibilities.
“Heterological” is autological
If “heterological” is autological, it should describe itself. But for that to be the case, it must be heterological, because otherwise it can’t describe itself. So, in order to describe itself, it must not describe itself. That doesn’t seem to work at all.
“Heterological” is heterological
OK, so maybe it’s not autological, but simply heterological, and does not describe itself. But if that is the case, then, obviously, it describes itself. Making it autological. So, that doesn’t work either. And now I have a headache.
I sometimes, not as often as I used to, get in imaginary arguments with people in my head. Sometimes I find myself telling them that something about their personality makes it hard to confront them with what I’m confronting them with now, and then in my head I tell them that that’s exactly why I’m not telling it to them now but am just telling it to them in my head. Then I get confused.
I personally think they are very useful if not applied slavishly. The alternative is ‘figure it out as we go along’, which leads to results that are unstable, short-lived or simply don’t properly fulfil the actual requirement.