subscribe: Posts | Comments

Expertise and Admiration


The concept of admiration is at its heart, a comparison of oneself against another, such that I recognize that you are better than me at x, maybe y, and hopefully not z as well! Or you could be better at a-z than I am.  But it is when that element of being better is highlighted in a non-directed, non-prescriptive way, that admiration results.

Ah, the expertise. Sports, for example, are so incredibly entertaining to watch because it is the element in which that individual excels being showcased. Have you ever seen the press conference or interview before, during, or after a game? Not quite as exciting, right? (Unless you’re talking about Shaq, who happens to be very entertaining off the court as well. (Anyone watched Shaq Vs?)) Something mundane or shared or general, taken to the highest level of concentration and commitment, that is expertise.

In much the same way, celebrities are entertaining because their element of comfort is on screen, captured on film. So when you remove them from a set and put them on the street, they’re still “on-screen,” except it might be on a slightly less controlled setting. It doesn’t seem that out of place. This is a digression.

The concept of the role model is really coming from the realm of the superlative… in a specific setting. So there should be a filter of focusing on the “how” of that expertise. “How did Michael Jordan get to where he went? Was he always that great?” “Well no, little Billie Jean Frachmaninoff, he worked hard. And so should you. Now eat your asparagus.”

The best part about widely available presentations of performance– in whatever category– is that there are invariably those that say, “I could totally do that,” something usually said while doing something completely opposite and far removed from the activity in question. (Think SuperBowl.) But he or she didn’t. And that’s a distinguishing factor. You don’t have to be the best at something, just do it.

And then you might just become the best.

That’s part of the appeal of sharing something on a broad scale– inspiration either to achieve on equal footing, or to get off one’s… couch… to do something.

In much the same way, I want to capture the concepts of “where from,” “how to,” and “look at what I did!” in different areas, such as the sciences and the arts. But it all starts with the individual.

Now eat your asparagus.

p.s. Anybody else notice that the non-directed, non-prescriptive thing went out the window with the asparagus?

Hello World!

Hello World!

Having more or less stabilized what I think this blog is going to be about, I’m finally writing this more “official” first post. I’ll be taking a look at science and art (creative, I know), but really focusing on the human interaction side whenever possible. So if that sounds good to you– and I hope it does– stick around, there’s a lot coming. Thanks!

Picture: I took this in the Jiuzhaigou Valley in China, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.