12.04. 2017

Let's be fwends: Iteration, not repetition

Let's be fwends: Iteration, not repetition
There's a difference between a robot and someone practicing.
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Welcome to issue 3 of Let's be Fwends!

Today is 12.4.2017, which means that I started this endeavour 33 days ago. That's 792 hours, which means that according to Malcom Gladwell, I’m 7,92% on my way to newsletter writing mastery. Of course, I’m totally cheating on this, because I didn’t actually spend all of 33 days writing newsletters. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because Gladwell's rule that you need 10.000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in any skill has been thoroughly debunked.

How do we improve? And what happens to our body when we practice?

So if it's not simply putting in the time and practicing for 10.000 hours, how else can we improve? Here's a short Youtube-Video on how to practice effectively:

Key take-away: In order to get better, you need to get fatter!

Who would have thought? Not cyclists, that's for sure. Never mind that it's just your neural pathways that should get a thicker layer of fat around them. That's semantics.

Apart from that: Be consistent, focused, target the edge of your current abilities. Leave your comfort-zone. Do it again. Again. Again. And again.

Work towards a goal, and improve with every step you make. That is not just repetition. It is iteration.

Ideology is over. Let's change the status quo!

Are you waiting for the next revolution? When everyone's sitting around and waiting that revolution probably will never come. You don't have a master plan how to make the world a better place? Then why not use the time spent waiting to change what's bothering you, right here, right now?

I used to believe in ideology, in that Big Thing that we should be trying to achieve. Everything else was uninteresting. And there was just one way to do it. I call it "The Only Way To Do Things". It's pretty paralyzing, because whenever you want to start, you realize that according to your ideology, it would be the wrong thing to do. A compromise. A watered down version of how things should be. So you don't do them. Pretty stupid, huh?

I don't believe in that Big Solution for the Big Problem anymore. You can't predict the future anyway. What might be a big problem now could be quite irrelevant two years from now. But what you can do is focus on the present.
I believe in baby-steps. Change the here and now, with what we have, and what we know. It might not be perfect, but at least you're doing something. This might not be the best way for every profession (heart surgeons come to mind), but for most of us, doing something instead of being paralyzed is a smart strategy. Iterate, iterate, then iterate again.

As Bruce Springsteen put it so profoundly: Can’t start a fire without a spark.
Let's be that spark.

Iteration, mindlessness and design

Taking baby-steps has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently, and I think Todd Olson raises valid concerns. But keep in mind that there is a huge difference between mindlessly throwing pudding on the wall and working with whatever sticks, and gradually working toward a better future even if you're unsure where that path will take you.

Cables. Natural and artificial.

Aren’t neural pathways just cables that transport information? Aren’t computer cables basically the neural pathways of our media?
Are you a neat-freak? Do you think rhetorical questions are overrated devices? Then I've got just the right thing for you.

Ain't that beautiful? Get more neatly organized cables here: http://cableporn.tumblr.com
That’s it from this edition of Let’s be Fwends. It's been quite philosophical, so if you made it down here, please high-five yourself. And if you want to relax from so much stressful reading, why not try a back massage from a cat? 🐱
Enjoy what you see? Please recommend this newsletter to someone who might enjoy it equally. Thanks!
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Header Image: Taken from this incredible series of historic computers by Docubyte. Check out their website, this is fantastic stuff!
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