?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Practice of... not practicing

« previous entry | next entry »
Dec. 26th, 2004 | 05:59 am
mood: blankblank

I can identify with this avoidance of a Practice, somewhat, although in a way I have not completely examined.

What I find greater or more attractive in a person is either of:

A. sticking with (training for, focusing on) a skill to the point of excellence
B. putting just a little extra energy into any, each, and EVERY little thing that you have a scrap of natural talent for.

I encourage people to go with A, because it has a bigger payoff for most people and is perhaps more normal, or at least traditional. And admirable.

I am unabashedly guilty of B in my own life, but I feel it's what comes naturally to me. Makes me look like a Renaissance Man, when in reality I'm just coping with my neural landscape. I can know one or two things about everything far more easily than a bunch of things about one thing. I am a professional generalist.

As far as judging what's healthy for you, no one can say -- unless they ask you and you tell them and they tell it back to you, which is what therapists do -- but I will throw my moral/ethical/religious/worldview/philosophy two cents in here and say if it enhances your experience in this life and doesn't take away from anyone else's, it's healthy.

cross-posted from another thread

The astute reader may correctly suspect that I'm going to contradict myself on this later. But I keep pressing these keys with letters on them and I like the way they click, so

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {7}

Chef Monkey

Test Scenario

from: chefmonkey
date: Dec. 27th, 2004 06:03 am (UTC)
Link

I have chosen to learn much about the North American camelids. It serves me no useful purpose. However, I do this in favor of learning about various other livestock (except for goats, because the only television show I can find on the topic of camelid husbandry, "Goats & Llamas," also discusses goats). I guess this is a form of your point A -- focusing on a narrow field instead of being a generalist. It doesn't take away from anyone else's life, but I have a hard time seeing how it enhances my own experiences (except for the rare brilliant moments when I find a good topical reason to insert trivia like, "no, you can't feed llamas oatmeal; it gives them ulcers."). My wife has already made it clear that llama and alpaca farming is not an acceptable course for my life, even after retirement. Is this focus on camelid knowledge unhealthy? If not, you probably need to restate your philosophy for the purposes of clarity.

;)

Reply | Thread

Triple Entendre

Re: Test Scenario

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 27th, 2004 01:00 pm (UTC)
Link

You do know that my aunt is a professional alpaca farmer?

Reply | Parent | Thread

Chef Monkey

Re: Test Scenario

from: chefmonkey
date: Dec. 27th, 2004 07:55 pm (UTC)
Link

You do know that my statements yesterday retroactively made that fact true, right? If you had checked on Saturday, she would have spent the past several decades farming cotton. Good thing, too; at $15,000 to $400,000 for a registered alpaca, she's much better off this way. Cotton farming is nowhere near as lucrative. Tell her to get out before the bubble bursts.

I'll have to get in touch with her and find out if I can borrow a couple of alpacas for a company party at some point.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Triple Entendre

Re: Test Scenario

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 29th, 2004 05:14 am (UTC)
Link

Well, I've known for some time that she was farming alpacas, but now I know why!

Yeah -- I had wondered. In politics, it's "follow the money;" in life, "follow the irony".

Reply | Parent | Thread

(Deleted comment)

Chef Monkey

Re: Test Scenario

from: chefmonkey
date: Dec. 27th, 2004 07:43 pm (UTC)
Link

I don't disagree, but I was trying to explore the statement, "[I]f it enhances your experience in this life and doesn't take away from anyone else's, it's healthy."

By your logic, the first precondition is a foregone conclusion...

Reply | Parent | Thread

Triple Entendre

Re: Test Scenario

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 29th, 2004 05:27 am (UTC)
Link

Is this focus on camelid knowledge unhealthy? If not, you probably need to restate your philosophy for the purposes of clarity.

If I may be overly literal for a moment: it's just a single truism, designed to guide one's thinking, rather than a complete philosophy. In a case such as yours, where that snippet of philopophy does not speak to your situation, you need (if anything) more or different philosophy. (More likely you just need to go for a walk and it will sort itself out.)

Most of my philosophy is like that. My net philosophy is a set of truths, each of which has been (as Einstein recommends) made as simple as possible -- but no simpler.

As with all sets, mine is also subject to Godel's Incompleteness, except I think that my set disregards it and actively includes some contradictory elements.

Reply | Parent | Thread

TroyToy

I know what I know if ya know what I mean.

from: troyworks
date: Dec. 27th, 2004 09:47 am (UTC)
Link

I'm always impressed by excellence. It's a turn on if anything in areas I aspire to and admired even when I find the excellence in something I find reprehensible.

A is what I strive for. Something like B is what my neural landscape affords me as well. I'm always going for good enough,..next thing, cause I get bored. I give the impression of being a renaissance man but that isn't the case either. I don't know much about history, or current poltics/art, etc. I'm a specialized generalist or a generalized specialist or something like that.

Reply | Thread