Monday, January 12, 2009

Cosmic Variance

I recently added the blog Cosmic Variance to my reader. It's great. I know you probably don't have much time for more content ... and the posts are all rather longish, but I'm really glad I stumbled on it.

As an example, I really identified with this post on the cult of genius. It really got me thinking about kids and the damage that can be inflicted unwittingly with too much general praise. I was told repeatedly that I was smart or a genius all the time at home growing up, and I turned out to be the prototypical skater. Disengaging when things would get remotely challenging. It didn't hit me (or maybe I didn't acknowledge) until I was 23-24 that I wasn't "exceptional" or "brilliant". The post really cemented some thoughts that I had been arriving at on my own ... that it's ok to struggle with stuff, that some things in life *are* hard, that practicing/working on something is sometimes the only way to advance in it. It seems odd to be realizing that stuff at age 34. Also takes the sting out of this.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Erikson said...

That Norvig article is one of my favorites, and what I have to remind myself of every time I run into someone saying "well, you should have done it this way" when I'm programming.