Posts tagged tools
Posts tagged tools
The problem that most people have is that they see their experience as a valuable tool, which it is, but they use it as a hammer and everything is a nail. Everyone is guilty of this at some point. Recognizing experience as only a tool is important in avoiding unnecessary bias. Experience also needs to retain its context in order to be truly useful… The current application may not be similar to your previous experience, so your bias is actually getting in the way of solving the problem.
Experience is a valuable asset. But it can also be a trap, if not applied judiciously.
Shawn Blanc wrote an interesting post about using his iPhone as his only camera, and he ends with some great insights on the drawbacks:
…some of the most memorable moments are also the ones where you do not want your iPhone anywhere near you.
If the best camera is the one you have with you then the worst camera is the one you refuse to take. Funny how that can simultaneously refer to the same device.
In many ways the iPhone punched massive holes into the inexpensive digital camera market. But there are some instances when the iPhone is the worst option for a camera. Because there is something to be said about the fact that there are some places where you really want a camera yet you are not going to take your iPhone into that situation.
This creates a paradox of value. The high value of a device1 can be the very reason you don’t want to take it into a specific situation where its value is relevant. An expensive camera on a dangerous hike, a nice guitar through international travel, or in Shawn’s case, an iPhone to the beach. Expensive gear might perform better, but it also carries a much higher risk. Sometimes a cheap camera or an old guitar are enough — or even better. Which brings us back to the idea that there really is no single “right” tool. As Shawn’s example highlights, even the apparent “best” tool is not right for every situation.
Not just financial value either: as Shawn mentions, devices like the iPhone carry a lot of personal information. They’re very versatile, so losing an iPhone can mean more than just losing photos and money. ↩
This is my booth at the pizza joint. I come here all the time with something to say. My Mac is nothing more than a overpriced pocket knife for me to scrawl stuff into it. And if I did not have that I would find a way. Because I have something to say. It’s what I do.
Find that thing that you do and do it. If it is, in fact, what you do, no tool will make you and no tool will stop you.
I expressed similar sentiments in my post about how better tools don’t make better writing. What does is writing itself. Tools can just as easily be a distraction as an aid.
Rhone’s words were inspired by a lengthy piece by John Carey, which talks, in part, about how the act of writing has been adulterated:
[Writing is] a task so basic and fundamental, in its essence it can be broken down to pen on paper or a stick in the sand. Yet here today we have a plethora of various writing applications because at some point in the past 15-20 years of modern technology we have managed to damage and greatly exaggerate the basic fundamentals of recording our thoughts and feelings into their written word. We have somehow sucked the romance out of it and turned it into nothing more than a means to reach an end.
No matter how good you may think you are at something the only true path to honestly calling yourself a professional is time, patience, and an unwavering knowledge and precision within your craft.
Actually doing is the key to any endeavor.