Explicating Removes The Uncertainty. And The Fun

I'm usually a big fan of explicating. Uncertainty can give a false sense of security, and forcing things to be specific can expose those flaws. It's also much easier to then execute on your plans if they're neatly out. Decoupling the thinking and the doing can both be more efficient and lead to better outcomes.

One thing that's come up recently is this sense of, "Why bother doing something if I already know how it can be done?"

I have this view which assigns most of the intellectual work to figuring out how something works. So once that's done, it seems a lot less exciting to go and actually do the thing. After all, if I've already figured it out, then the actual doing part should be a lot more mindless, right? Maybe this is why all the thinky people go into theoretical subjects.

Anyway, I've noticed that it's a lot more fun when doing things to not have all of it figured out, for example when I'm coding. (Yes, I know, dangerous for anything you can't redo, looking at you, AGI.) But I guess one downside of explicating, then, is that if you are like me, and attribute a lot of the "real work" to figuring out how to do something, then actually doing it afterwards will seem really boring.

This seems related to why I find it more fun to have a high-level overview for a talk, rather than memorizing all of the words beforehand. It's good to have a guide for what to say, but part of the fun (and skill) is improvising on the spot.

I realize this isn't something that scales well to large projects. So maybe part of the challenge here is figuring out ways to make the "just doing it" part more exciting. For me, I find self-worth in making stuff happen, so I do have some higher-level motivations to actually do the work.

But it's interesting, for small projects at least, to consider how much more motivated I'd be, if I actually planned less.

Last Updated: 2020-06-21 10:23
First Published: 2020-04-14 21:46