Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
Limiting our own potential (and another essay project to follow)
Just as Alex Charchar’s excellent 31-day Exercise in Short & Quick Essays came to an end, one of my other favorite writers, Dmitry Fadeyev, started his own An Essay a Day project. I love these projects, and I wish I had the guts to do something similar. Here’s an excerpt from one of Dmitri’s first posts in the series, called The Road to Hyperborea:
And even when people do break away and achieve what we thought ourselves impossible, we label them “geniuses” and thus once again create an artificial wall between us and them, drawing ever more constraints over our potential. Nietzsche warned us against this by saying that our impulse to label the most productive of us as “geniuses” — and that is what they are, productive individuals who have built up enough experience and have created enough material from which they can select the very best — relieves us of the pressure to compete with them. The label lifts them above our playing field, separates them from us, so that the benchmarks they’ve created no longer apply to us. It’s a declaration of surrender.
That’s a solid kick in the pants to stop limiting our own potential just because there are so many others out there who are better than us. Dmitri is a fantastic writer, so I highly recommend following his month-long essay journey.