Today's thought

The master meme

I think a lot about this meme format.

It’s almost always used in a derogatory sense, insinuating that the people in the middle are foolish for their complexity—silly for trying things that both the beginner and master will ignore. It's always talking about stuff like email tools, web design practices, making money online, etc.

The sentiment is only partially true.

The beginner only sees simplicity because they haven’t experienced problems that require more complex solutions. The “master” chooses simplicity because it’s the purest format—the distraction-less version of a tried and true method that they’ve grown used to. We all like to think we’re the expert, or at least we aspire to be. But in practice, it’s almost always better to be in the middle—the messy experimentalist. The one who’s always trying new things and seeking new ways to solve interesting problems.

Sometimes you’ll land on a tool or practice that works for you, and that’s great! Hone it as you wish. But, the moment you do, you'll realize: The simplicity of being a "master" opens up a whole new bell curve of the nuances of that mastery, leaving endless potential for learning. You're in the middle once again.

Don’t abandon your spirit of exploration for the sake of early optimization.

I think a lot about this meme format.

It’s almost always used in a derogatory sense, insinuating that the people in the middle are foolish for their complexity—silly for trying things that both the beginner and master will ignore. It's always talking about stuff like email tools, web design practices, making money online, etc.

The sentiment is only partially true.

The beginner only sees simplicity because they haven’t experienced problems that require more complex solutions. The “master” chooses simplicity because it’s the purest format—the distraction-less version of a tried and true method that they’ve grown used to. We all like to think we’re the expert, or at least we aspire to be. But in practice, it’s almost always better to be in the middle—the messy experimentalist. The one who’s always trying new things and seeking new ways to solve interesting problems.

Sometimes you’ll land on a tool or practice that works for you, and that’s great! Hone it as you wish. But, the moment you do, you'll realize: The simplicity of being a "master" opens up a whole new bell curve of the nuances of that mastery, leaving endless potential for learning. You're in the middle once again.

Don’t abandon your spirit of exploration for the sake of early optimization.

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Aaron Rolston © 2099

Aaron Rolston © 2099