Prints for select speculative relationships backers are here! Colored page from my story The Dream Program to be released in speculative Relationships 1!
140914 diversity, freedom - objects of illusion
More and more I’ve been realizing that to be “the best” at a particular skillset rarely means you will be “the most successful”, because to find success means you need to be reasonably well rounded in a variety of disciplines that include an ability to hit deadlines, focus on projects you did not conceptualize yourself, sell your personality to other people, cooperate well with others, and communicate clearly. The person caught on the idea that “most solid technical proficiency” equals “most successful” will in many cases focus a disproportionate amount of energy on honing a skill rather than using it in practical application and then get frustrated that people who “aren’t as good as them” are the ones who ultimately get the jobs.
It’s sort of like if you’re distributing stats on your RPG character, one person puts all their points in strength, the other spreads them between strength, charisma, and speed, neither person has more points, one just sacrificed maxing out one area to focus on rounding out other useful skills.
This is not to discourage people who want to follow that journeyman path and be the best there is at what they do, because that’s certainly an admirable mountain to climb as well. Just don’t buy into that idea that you have to win a “Best Artist” race to find success, or make the comic you want to, or apply for jobs, or really make any of the projects you want to happen get off the ground. And you know, if you’re struck with the urge to tear someone successful down for not being “as good” as you, consider the other disciplines they had to hone to complete their project and get people to consume it.
One day I want to go to a fan convention with an Adventure Time cosplay that consists of regular me carrying a lone crinkle-cut denim parasol, and nobody will get it, and I won’t care, that’s not the point.
“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”
—Neil deGrasse Tyson