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  1. Oct 2020
    1. Once upon a time there was a German psychologist whose name I am forgetting—which will, itself, become relevant in just a moment—who argued that when you don’t name a thing it stays more active in your mind. Specifically, he found that you have better recall for the details of an unsolved task, an unfinished puzzle, an unnamed psychological phenomenon, than a solved or labeled thing. “Loose ends prevail” could have been the name of his law, but it was—I’m checking my notes—the Zeigarnik effect. The man’s name was Zeigarnik and she was a woman not a man and she was Russian, not German. But still. It has stayed with me, this idea with a hard-to-remember name about how unnamed ideas are easier to remember. This rabid little law that suggests that unlabeled things gnaw and tug at you with more vigor, their parts and powers somehow more alive when they are left to roam wild, outside of the confines of our words.