I recently came across this blog post that I found very relevant to what we do at Cracking the Code:
The basic point here is that when you look at something (almost anything!) closely, there are more layers and greater complexity than you might expect.
He gives a good example with a construction project — what seems intuitively to be a simple job that can be diagrammed with a quick napkin sketch actually has tons of sub-steps and challenges.
And, importantly, these challenges won’t necessarily be encountered until you actually experience them. They’re hard to predict beforehand just from thinking about the problem / activity…they only come up when you’re actually engaged in the activity itself.
Good bit from this piece:
Again, you might think ‘So what? I guess things are complicated but I can just notice the details as I run into them; no need to think specifically about this’. And if you are doing things that are relatively simple, things that humanity has been doing for a long time, this is often true. But if you’re trying to do difficult things, things which are not known to be possible, it is not true.
The more difficult your mission, the more details there will be that are critical to understand for success.
You might hope that these surprising details are irrelevant to your mission, but not so. Some of them will end up being key…
You might also hope that the important details will be obvious when you run into them, but not so. Such details aren’t automatically visible, even when you’re directly running up against them. Things can just seem messy and noisy instead…
The proposed solution to this challenge is basically to seek out more detail, be intentionally observant. That seems like a good start though maybe can only get us so far.
So of course this made me think about challenges related to learning, whether guitar / music / other complex skills, and how there’s often a huge gap between conceptually understanding elements of technique, and being able to consistently implement them.
A large part of what we do is exposing the hidden details of technique that you otherwise wouldn’t notice. But another big challenge that we’re collectively working to solve, in part through things like #technique-critique here on the forum, is the actual “putting into practice” part of the equation.
Food for thought!