People who practice a lot usually do so because they’re interested in it. It’s not hard or homework for them. If there’s a gift, it’s the gift of interest.
Artists copy a lot. They don’t come up with stuff clear out of their heads. They look at a lot of things, keep a lot of references, and blend ideas together.
Most people who are famous are so not because they’re good, but because they’ve worked hard to become famous. It was important to them, so they did what it took to become famous. Being good at something is a small part of that, small enough that famous people aren’t usually all that good. Their time was better spent becoming famous. (This is the biggest lesson from this list. It basically implies that you can ignore people who have blogs and podcasts. Seek out the unknown experts in your field.)
Don’t make decisions based on money. Don’t stay at a job because the shares might be worth something, or because the company might get acquired. These things rarely happen and you can’t get your time back.
Everyone is totally winging it all the time. Confident people are just better at hiding it.
I don't think people really understand how true this is. I think we all might feel it, but to really believe that [insert name] doesn't really know what is going on is a revelation.
To wit, whenever given the opportunity to talk with someone who is or was in a large powerful role (Fmr Undersecretary of the Navy two weeks ago for example) I always ask them how confident they were, that what they were doing was the right choice, or how much they felt in control of a particular action/decision.
Across the board they all say they feel like they have very little control and are just doing the best with what they have.
I think your advice is most valuable to people who constantly underestimate themselves. I've worked around extremely capable people who do this, and it's frustrating to see how little they achieve because of it.
Contrast that against current xkcd: https://xkcd.com/1471/
And it doesn't stop there. He's done amazing things that stretch the concept of "web comic", like https://xkcd.com/1446/ or arguably his most famous work https://xkcd.com/1190/ "Time"
The author's growing experience and confidence allowed him to pull off ambitious and genuinely imperative things like "Time", which improved the mean comic, but the median never really recovered.
A recent one - http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2015/02/16/attempted-recid...
I remember commenting on a different artist's rework of his old comic strip, about how the new strips looked too busy and that there was something beautiful and thematic about his earlier work. He replied that he also preferred his earlier work, but he just couldn't make himself 'stop that early' when drawing anymore.
Certainly in both cases there's a lot more skill in the later work, but it's interesting to note that overdevelopment is also a thing.
The cartoon faces were more expressive with less detail than the current ones, but he was able to draw just about anything he wanted in a funny way, which wasn't the case in the beginning.
So skyscrapers and jumbo jets are built on guesswork, despite all the things that can go wrong in their design and construction?
I wish people would be more precise about what is meant by this, since it seems trivially false when taken literally.
If some element of guesswork wasn't involved, we wouldn't need massive safety factors, because we'd know exactly how strong and stiff to make things. If engineers could be trusted to avoid disaster purely through their own skill and expertise, then we wouldn't need building codes and inspections, we wouldn't need FAA regulations and the NTSB.
If 99% of the job is applying well-understood techniques to well-trod problems you have an intimate domain understanding of, and 1% is judgment calls you can't rigorously justify, that's not "winging it".
What I think is going on is that people think back to their work, only remember the 1%, and then casually conclude that "aw, heck, the whole thing is just judgment calls", which doesn't follow at all.
Many projects crucially depend on someone having that deep understanding, and their success proves that at least one person (and probably a lot more) aren't winging it. If people would just operationalize what this nugget of wisdom is supposed to mean, I think we'd find a lot more disagreement on what it means, or a much less surprising insight.
"Structural engineering is the art of molding materials we don't wholly understand, into shapes we can't fully analyze, so as to withstand forces we can't really assess, in such a way that the community at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance."
If the New York City skyline is "just winging it", then it should no longer be reassuring to tell someone that "lol don worry we're winging it too".
At times, information technology entrepreneurship
seems to believe that no such thing is possible.
I'm sure there's lots of places in skyscrapers and jumbo jets that the engineers in charge feel at least somewhat ashamed for, and are only there because they needed to "ship" and it was empirically shown to be "good enough" for practical purposes .. and then every once in a blue moon a plane crashes.
Similarly to how debuggers help us beat code into doing something "good enough" for practical purposes, but no one really understands what the code does anymore .. and then every once in a blue moon there's something like heartbleed.
Striving for perfection in a market context only sets you up for pain - since stakeholders rarely care about quality, they care about more money and less headaches now, consequences be damned. So everyone is just winging it.
eg. When do you make the decision that it is the right time to build this kind of skyscraper or jumbo jet with this compliment of people etc...
If there are a hundred non-obvious caveats, which people may even disagree on ... maybe it's not actually so wise?
At the very least, those who promote this claim should verify they're not confusing "use gut instinct when you have to make a judgement call" with "the entirety of coding, including iterating 1 to 100, is a judgement call".
Fully agree with this. But it seems not easy to find hidden gems. It takes time and energy to deliver what's in one's mind. Take this into account, what we can find is only a fraction of the real gems with lots of noises mixed with them. The best shot I can think of is to have some kind of small circle to exchange ideas and opinions. Another resource is reading books, I guess.
As for famous people's wisdom, they have way more access to information average people don't have. And the average quality is probably better. Just like what the artists do you mentioned, they do the same with information.
Yup. Very glad to hear that you want the
Finding them is
a nutshell description of the
purpose of my startup.
Thanks for the wording!
Absolutely. I've gotten high quality information from books. Sometimes it seems you gotta pay through the nose... but when you look at it, many of these books are refined down from the person's life in the field. That is pretty cool!
Very true. And even when it's not 100% true, we're better off pretending that it is. If you think you can learn something, you're much better off than if you think you can't. The latter attitude is self-fulfilling.
If you hate something, and you have to force yourself to do it, I wouldn't bother, and I'd look for something else to do.
That, and our whole system of fractional reserve banking is deeply flawed and is killing us, to the benefit of a greedy few.