Learning How to See

• 4 min read
Learning How to See

This may sound weird as someone so pro-art, but I’m convinced everybody needs to learn the fundamentals of computer science.

I learned only a bit of programming in school, but the little that I learned taught me something precious. It taught me that everything is de-buggable. As I was transferring over my newsletter to a different website this week, I was reminded of this fact.

Instead of seeing things that didn’t work. I saw things that didn’t work YET. Learning to program taught me that every problem has a solution.

It’s fashionable in art circles to say, “Oh, I’m just not a math person.” It’s fashionable in math/science circles to say, “I just don’t get art.”

We put people in careful boxes. We elevate this profession or that as some pinnacle. We develop bitterness and feelings of superiority. “Our tribe is better!”, we proclaim as if our very identity depends on it.

But does there need to be a difference?

My newsletter is here to help you swing the pendulum.

If you’re an art person, how can you become more methodical in your life? How can you use cold hard logic to eliminate personal irrationality to become wiser and more productive?

If you’re a math/science person how can you throw off the yoke of needing to know and live in unknowingness? How can you look past your logic and immerse yourself in the terrifying freedom of being continually present?

To everybody, I want to ask, how can you take the lessons, benefits, and immersion of art AND science? Instead of being lopsided, how can you be whole?

That’s what I’ll continue to explore throughout my newsletters. Here this week’s letter:

Embrace Your Lazy

Quote of the Week:

“There is no perfection, only life” — Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Tweet of the Week:

Question of the Week:

Is there something I do everyday just cause it’s fun? How would other areas of my life be better if I made more time for Play?


This Week's Petri Dish

Seed 1:

My Podcast Episode with Paul LeCrone is out! It was a really fun time. I was impressed with Paul and will be looking forward to his work and future episodes in earnest.

Link to Video & Show Notes: https://penguinlatte.blog/2020/08/24/pranav/
Youtube Link: tinyurl.com/y23vkq4q

You can also find it wherever you get your podcasts if you search The Penguin Latte Podcast

Seed 2:

This upcoming week, I’m taking a break and staying at an Airbnb with my family. It’s a good time to practice something I’m trying to get better at, being present. It reminds me of this great article from Frank Bruni. Here’s a quote:

“There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence.
We delude ourselves when we say otherwise, when we invoke and venerate ‘quality time,’ a shopworn phrase with a debatable promise: that we can plan instances of extraordinary candor, plot episodes of exquisite tenderness, engineer intimacy in an appointed hour…
But people tend not to operate on cue. At least our moods and emotions don’t. We reach out for help at odd points; we bloom at unpredictable ones. The surest way to see the brightest colors, or the darkest ones, is to be watching and waiting and ready for them.”

Seed 3:

A catchy song to remind yourself that when anxiety hits, you don’t have to run. Embrace it. Say “Hello, Anxiety”


I re-watched the Karate Kid a couple of weeks ago. When I first watched this as a kid, I walked away thinking about how cute Elisabeth Shue was.

This time, I walked away thinking about how amazing Mr.Miyagi.

The wax on wax off scene was a fun scene when I was a kid. Now as an adult, it’s meaningful in a way it wasn’t 15 years ago.

This scene is a good reminder that the greats are better at a fundamental level.

A famous boxer doesn’t have some fancy trick that makes him better than the average person. He is fundamentally better. His punch is a better punch.

A great writer doesn’t have fancy tricks. They are better writers on a sentence by sentence level.

In trying to better ourselves, we sometimes look for “life hacks” that will change our life. We want one magic pill that we can take that will make our life worth living. It’s tempting to jump from one life hack to another in search of nirvana.

Resist the urge.

Don’t be the mediocre salesman who buys a fancy suit and thinks that will make him a great salesman.

Become a better salesman.

This is harder but much more fulfilling. I don’t want you to have a hack; I want to teach you how to be a better live-er.

Find your fundamental unit of improvement. And then work on that over and over again. Wax on, Wax off. Every day you’ll get marginally better until one day you realize you’ve fundamentally changed.

It’s not enough to try out a cool new life hack as if it is going to become a competitive advantage.

Become the competitive advantage.


I’ll see the marginally better you next week.

Till then my lazy,

Pranav

← The Hidden Art of Bonsai
The Recipe for Genius →

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