January 04, 2012
slow/fast - alone/connected - flowing/trying

While I enjoy hours alone with a book as much as the next guy - well, probably a little bit more than the next guy, actually - and can relate to this praise to downtime, it would be downright foolish to not contuously praise the virtues of connected development and the expert system of previous idiots on the same quest as you. The problem of course is that it only works for certain kinds of problems.

I think the stumped-ask-search-find-reuse cycle is optimal for workarounds not actual original work, and that if you use it for original work, your original work invariably ends up feeling like a workaround.
Not that that isn't a lot. So much of what we do can be verified with simple "did it work" tests, and for all of these problems, find-and-reuse is just a much better algorithm. The problem comes when you're trying to build something new, and trying to build a meaningful coherent body of work. There's no coherence in ask-and-reuse.

I've written about the old mode of learning/thinking/working/doing before, but mostly with a focus on the virtues of rapid response and immediate feedback. The thing is that ask-and-reuse isn't feedback, because there was no mental process there to benefit from the feedback. Pure ask-and-reuse does not help you into flow, it's just channel surfing. I'm sure what works as flow and what works as channel surfing is different from individual to individual, but I'm also quite sure there's a difference between the critical editing stance and the creative stance.

Whether slow or fast gets you into the creative stance, I really don't know - it probably varies.

Whether alone or connected gets you into the creative stance, I really don't know - it probably varies.

But I'm quite sure there's a difference between flowing and just trying. It's the same kind of difference people talk about when they discuss what a crock gamification is. Problem solving really isn't about the problem, but about the solving. It's also why you should write, and not just read.

Posted by Claus at January 04, 2012 12:51 PM | TrackBack (0)
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