Downstream of Consciousness

Downstream of Consciousness

The internet is a vehicle that can eventually prevent creative people having to "force" work that is clearly not in their wheelhouse.

The problem is you can only figure this out after publishing an incredible amount of work.

That said, people who are well past that threshold still have the itch to go backwards.

My theory: it's a learned behavior that's hard to break, it comes from not understanding that easy to you ≠ easy.

Here's how I see it play out:

Them: "Here's this massive body of work that demonstrates my hard earned, innate ability to do x."

Someone: "Can you do that for me?."

Them: "Hmm, they can't just want me to do that thing that comes naturally, that'd be too easy. I better do something that feels difficult."

Thinking more about this — what you're really doing in this situation is rejecting instinct. And "instinct" in this context, is a synonym form the purest form of creativity. The accumulated experience and expertise that got you to that point in the first place.

It's very hard to get out of our own way.

This is a slightly polished version of a stream of consciousness twitter thread where I added the following caveat: If I'd have thought too much about writing this before I wrote it, I probably wouldn't have written it.

Leverage is as much about where you are standing as how much force you are applying.

If you are building something, it is far more useful to focus on the work you are doing to produce the result than the result itself.

The constraint we apply to package our idea determines their reach & resonance. "Make 1 decision to eliminate 1,000 decisions."

Labor is generally a more interchangeable resource than vision.

To help understand this idea, consider the contrast between the two concepts ancient Greeks used to think about time.

It should be relatively simple to identify when we aren't accumulating net new experience, but in practice, it doesn't seem to be.

Language is an incredible tool. It makes it possible for us to externalize what we think and communicate it to others.