Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Opportunity of Endless Iteration

If I took a cooking class - even a great one that lasted for a thousand years - it wouldn't help me cook anything great. I'd make fewer mistakes, but I wouldn't advance one nanometer toward deliciousness (see my thoughts on culinary school).

But for 15 years I've channeled meal time hunger into culinary improvement. Simple. Mild. Gradual. Torturous. And while I'm not completely there yet, I'm starting to become the sort of cook I myself might (lightly) praise.

The writer Nassim Taleb, who coined the term "Black Swan" (and who is an arrogant shlub whose thoughts should never be taken at face value - useful intellectuals are self-doubtful, assuring that their insights get pre-passed through a belligerent filter, whereas self-worship makes for spotty thinking), talks about "skin in the game" as being the key to success and creativity.

He's right, it's true. Humans do their best work when it's tightly keyed in to their deepest needs and desires. If you cook and work and love and breathe in a rote get-from-point-A-to-point-B fashion, you're missing the opportunity; you're squandering the rocket fuel.

And dryly resorting to books or videos or classes to improve yourself won't help you cook up anything truly great - in any realm - no matter how hard you work at it. You must have skin in the game (this is why black athletes do better).

Be more ant-like, and let your preset needs and desires drive you, through the endless iterations of daily life, to transcendent result.

From here:
Life consists of a series of revisitations to tired cliches, certain with each new pass that we now really understand them. And so it is with Edison's "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration." That quotation used to conjure up images of wild-eyed fanatics banging hammers in garages in the middle of the night. But it's just a matter of normal people blithely but indefatigably putting out. The Colorado River, etcher of the Grand Canyon, is just some shitty little river. The best among us are shitty little rivers. To me, that's what Edison was saying.
From here:
Billions of people yearn for greatness.
Millions of people do things they hope will make them great.
Thousands of people do great things with nary a thought about where it will leave them.

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