Reverse Polish notation is a way of stating a formal language such that the operators, or verbs, come at the end of a series of operands, or nouns, like this: 1 2 + . In this configuration, a computer doesn't have to listen for very long or hold on to a lot of partial information before it can make sense of things and get to work. This behaviour makes it good for systems that don't have a lot of working memory or talk along slow communication channels, like firmware, printers and calculators.

Know what else has very little working memory and communicates along a slow channel? People. They also don't have a lot of patience for things that take too long to understand or demonstrate value. What if, then, we could take the principle that makes reverse Polish notation go down so easily for computers, and apply it to people?

Did you just say what I think you said?

You might be thinking about how RPN has a reputation for just how hard it is for people to understand. Or you could be thinking about how, lots of languages, notably Japanese, basically already do that. Or, you could still be wondering what I'm talking about, indicating such a thing might be useful.

Rest assured, I am not suggesting we start talking like Yoda. I'm thinking exclusively about applying the principle of feeding people information in an order most amenable to uptake. What I envision is a method of dynamically arranging text at around the paragraph level, all the way up the document outline. Hypertext implicitly does this already by splitting documents into small pieces and weaving them together with links, enabling people to follow the path of least cognitive resistance. I have performed some preliminary research into methods for untangling the hairball of hypertext and ironing it out into a linear format, such as one to be printed or spoken, and the results look promising.

Isn't that basically what a good salesperson does?

Yes, and likewise a good storyteller or teacher. I argue that indeed there is a high degree of overlap in these professions. All are capable of sustaining their audiences' interests, and get them to understand the relevant information and appreciate it quickly, and stick around for the dénouement. I believe this can be made systematic. And of course, this is not to obsolesce our dear scriveners, teachers and sales force, but rather to make poor performers competent and good ones stellar.