Increments in Monochrome
I've recently been grappling once again with an old problem: how to manage the development evolution of an idea that's too big for my mind to consider all at once. Technology has provided tools to help deal with this problem in general, mostly in the form of enhanced communication channels and "external memory" (ie. storage), as well as information processing tools to sift through external memory. Unfortunately, these tools only go so far; for one thing, in order to write down information or otherwise store it externally in some form, you need to be able to encode the information (say, in English). This works great in many cases, but is of little help in a situation where the ideas and concepts are not sufficiently crystallised in order to be able to encode and communicate them. For ideas with sufficiently small scope, it's not a problem to keep the idea in my mind over a period of time, as I slowly refine and crystallise the idea to the point where it can be communicated to others; but every now and then, something comes along that's so huge that I can't keep it in mind all at once.
One solution that some people resort to is encoding partial fragments of the idea independently. Unfortunately, this leads to a breakdown in cohesion and coherency; instead of a single coherent idea, you now have a sprawling mass of interrelated ideas that don't fit together so well, which really isn't a good substitute for the real thing.
Unfortunately, I don't yet have an answer to this; the particular idea that I'm working on (which will probably turn into a blog) is simply too important to break down into separate ideas, as it just won't have the necessary impact in that form. Every time I pick the idea up again, I realise that I've lost my grasp on various aspects of the idea, so it seems like I can't make any progress; as soon as I develop one aspect, I lose what I've developed on another aspect.
Anyhow, I guess I'm not really expecting a solution to any of this, but I thought I'd throw it out there while I'm banging my head against the wall.