Premature labelling inhibits exploration

Giving a title to a thought, note, essay etc. can be a useful and clarifying tool by beginning to close the open feedback loop – forcing us to confront and summarise our argument or objective. However, a premature title (or a poor title) can also have the opposite effect and instead snuff out the nascent thought entirely or close off possible alternate avenues, connections, and conclusions.

Thoughts often carry us to places we didn’t expect. This serendipitous quality of our brains should not be forestalled by prematurely imposing the rigid structures of title or category, but encouraged by patiently allowing these meta-structures to emerge during prolonged incubation.