Continuing the discussion from (Classical) Liberalism [CF Article]:
(Posting this in a new topic in friendly because it ended up being long, rambly, and off the cuff. Didn’t want to clutter the original thread and it doesn’t seem suitable for the ET category.)
That story is familiar. I think I’ve heard it in the context of some other experiments/stories that were like groups of people told to make paintings, with one group allowed to do one painting per day judged on quality and another group judged by how many paintings they could pump out. The group that pumped out a bunch of paintings and had little fear of being judged on quality ended up making the best paintings.
Also makes me think of curi’s advice when I asked about how to get as good at him at writing, and he had mentioned writing lots of blog posts (like tens of thousands). (Tried to find the original quote but couldn’t find the discord server for some reason). Also reminds me of something Adam Grant mentioned in a podcast with Sam Harris where basically people like Mozart and Beethoven are often considered as having been prodigies that produced masterpieces routinely, but it turns out that they also produced like 10x more pieces than other composers at the time, and they did have some lower end pieces. They just produced a lot more to be able to pick more from the high quality results, and I guess it made them better in general too.
Overall I think not worrying about sucking at something at first and just practicing and producing finished outputs (like making small indie game projects) is better than trying to get a perfect result the first time (if doing so gets you stuck in the process). Seth Godin also has a take on this regarding writer’s block where he says nobody has talker’s block, and if you can say it, you can write it. Writer’s block is really just people wanting to write something great the first time. Every time someone complains to him about writer’s block and asks for advice, he asks them to show him their bad writing. Their unfinished novels, incomplete movie scripts, terrible blog posts etc. But they never have anything to show him. In his view you have to be willing to write badly to learn to write well, which is a step some aspiring writers don’t seem to be able to get past. Maybe writer’s block becomes an easy excuse to use instead of just setting a time to write and writing whatever comes to mind, even if it sucks. I know there are writers who followed this technique daily, like Isaac Asimov and Roald Dahl, leading them to publish lots of great books over their career, even if they only spent like 3 hours a day writing.
Edit: To this end, I like that ET does freewriting and also talks about it to the point where I’ve seen other people doing freewriting (max and internetrules and Alisa off the top of my head). I should try doing it sometime. It’s not an activity I’ve seen advocated by anyone else explicitly.