The Problem With Smart People

The problem with smart people is that they think of ideas before I do. I keep getting a sinking feeling that Nassim Taleb has anticipated the entire contents of this blog: the more I read Antrifragile, the more I want to transcribe passages of his book here and follow it with a simple, “Ditto.” However, his project revolves around decision making in a world that we don’t understand. This isn’t quite the same as mine: living the good life, which is described by so many, yet unheeded by many more. So, I’ll soldier on, pointing out Taleb’s sharp wit and good ideas frequently, and applying his work to my goals as I can. There are, of course, others who have anticipated much of the content on this blog, and I’ll cite them as I pluck their good ideas from the tree of knowledge too.

The problem with smart people is that they make you realize you’re not alone. Now, most of the time, folks like good company. But when your a writer, it’s easy and desirable to fool yourself into believing that your breaking new trail. When it’s just the case that you’re reading too little, and your writing is too superficial. If my writing covers ideas that others have already described, it’s time to read those writers more closely, and cover the topic more deeply.

So, all of this is a long preamble to a brief update. The completion of the “How to Press Olives” series is on the way, as is a new article about science and religion — one of my favorite false dilemmas to explore!


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