A Case for Boredom, Getting Things Done Later and Keeping the Big Picture in Sight
Writing your concepts down and drawing the up has intrinsic value even if no one is reading/watching; it has the value of multicasting the same problems to several functional areas of our brain; what does it look like? How does it sound like? What does it remind me of? Conceptually, do I remember similar thoughts? Or have I seen that pattern before? Is this pattern topologically equivalent to another pattern which happens to be known or useful somehow?
In computer science, writing a value under the same key is an idempotent operation. Which means that no matter how many times you press it, it achieves the same result and no side-effects on persistent data. Like pressing the same elevator button three times in a row. For digital machines it is redundant.
However, the human mind are not binary, fully-deterministic, digital machine with 99.99999% predictable reliabiloty. Humans are more like kinda fuzzy, maybe quantum-enabled, bags-of-electrochemical-meat with “sometimes-to-usually good enough”% long-term, best-effort, eventually consistent kind of reliability. However, for all its faults, its computing capabilities are the only machine from our known universe which stand a chance of challenging recursive enumerable sets.
The point is digital society has fallen back exclusively of maximizing speed, throughput, capacity and the growth thereof without *any* consideration for depth, insight, fundamental knowledge of research. In this arms’ race of being overwhelmed by more real-time notifications and more features on my handheld-tracking device we have forgotten to take time to get bored or to redesign or redraw or rewrite down for a third time, on a piece of paper, *that* idea that haunts us. The we feel has value. Not just valuation. More in/out emails isn’t necessarily a good thing, more scale isn’t necessarily the only way to compete, more “things done” doesn’t always means “better things” and more actions doesn’t always mean better result.
We should take time to rehash old ideas. Draw them and stick the paper on the wall. Rediscuss with others. Be redundant. Silicon Valley stopped thinking outside the box when people stopped sketching ideas on the same napkin, on the physical real-world table, over coffee. Efficiency is sometimes the enemy of vision, creativity and innovation. Fitting all patterns starts separating you from breaking any patterns.
Here’s a random example of a way crypto and other digital currencies might make an actual difference: vector contracts (just like vector clocks in distributed systems) as a means of tracking in each transaction several parameters, other than just value (the only one currently represented in currencies). There is some work
Sure, being effective is driven by constraint, discipline and some personal sacrifice. But let us not allow our mind into *any* shape just to fit the trend, the framework, the hype or the design pattern – just so we can “crush it harder”. There is always a trade-off between scale and depth, both the way we think and in multi-threaded stacks alike. And let’s NOT allow “having a growth mindset” or some other one-dimensional, linear, reductionist, over-simplifying and over-hyped bullshit be *the only* value we defend by our professional and business lives.