Monday, February 7, 2011

Imperfect surroundings

James Deaton asks whether knowledge workers "need ideal conditions to do great work?”  He cites the views of many eminent scientists who believe that an “ideal situation” is actually detrimental.

Deaton's take is that “if you are not making progress where you are, believing better conditions are all that is holding you back is a convenient substitute for doing the actual work".

There are a lot of factors, of course.  For example, perfect surroundings can create a pressure to think only great thoughts or write only perfect prose, pressures which are in fact turn counter-productive.  

The piece is worth reading.  And perhaps a good corrective for people (like me) who are inclined to think that holiness would be easy if things were better. 

If we were in a monastery, or had better health, or weren't emeshed in family issues. But that it’s all a bit too much as things are  …


  1. Interesting article, thanks for highlighting it.

    Adn welcome to the blogging world felix!

  2. Felix, saw your blog through an incoming link. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and contribute some good thoughts.