The More You Know, The More You Stare

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-02 12:00:00 No comments

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new one is proving more crowded and complex than I expected. More about that when I am ready to talk about it. But for now I have a few things to muse about.

Something we got to mumbling about the other night, I ended up christening "the paradox of technical awareness:. The more you know how complex a particular thing is, or how broad the space is, the harder it is to feel like anything you would do at all in that space would matter, the more conscious you are of your insignificance.

Our incarnate example was game development. Most of the games people play on their PCs or phones require absurdly large development teams, millions of man-hours. It's soul-crushing for some people to behold such things and realize the only way to get into game development is to become part of such a team, or to create something that for most people is going to seem trivial.

The solution is to remind yourself, who are you really doing it for and why? If you can't do things like this for yourself first and foremost, it's not going to be possible to do it for anyone else at any scale.

I've dabbled in game development, and my problem wasn't that I didn't have programming chops. It was that I didn't particularly want to spend my time working on something that seemed like it was going to be more satisfying to other people than to myself. I don't really enjoy playing video games anymore; I'm always painfully aware of how my time could be spent more "constructively" elsewhere.

I know, I know, it's stupid. But it's the kind of stupid that I can't just wish away. I have to confront it as completely as I can before I can do anything about it. And one way to confront it is to ask myself, well, what do I really want to spend my time doing? Even if there was no money in it, or fame, or anything else most people consider a reward? What's worth filling the day with?

Tags: creativity