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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


February 9th, 2021


The tendency to delay the start of some new endeavour is often attributed to the need to plan more.  Often the issue can be the start itself.  How can something be started if the start itself is shrouded in a fog of unknown. It seems sensible that one should at least see the next step before trying to take it, and it seems further sensible that if just one step can be planned and executed, the plan for a next step can wait for the new perspective afforded by the first.  Entirely sensible, but unfortunately, it’s not always practical.


Sometimes, the most practical step boils down to that nerve-wracking buddhist aphorism: jump and the net will appear.  Sometimes the very next step is invisible, and we must blunder forward on just the scent of a dream that may await somewhere in the fog.


It’s likely that even the first step is a misstep, but if we as humans are good at anything, it’s the quick recovery.  Failure in this sense gives us something immediate and concrete to work with, like a baseball flying toward our face: it’s the sort of problem we actually are good at.


So in this sense, making a mistake can actually be a great way of getting started.  A mistake gives back information, and whispers an instant lay of the land.  Or at the very least, we quickly understand what not to do, which can just as likely provoke a better idea about how to get started.


Of course, it’s vital that such a first misstep not be an irrevocable mistake of huge consequence.   It’s better to fall while walking instead of wiping out while sprinting.


The error of myopia in this case is to believe that we will somehow figure out how to see farther into the unknown, instead of working forward with that myopia regardless.  Sometimes, the only way to see farther ahead is to more forward and get farther ahead.

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Podcast Ep. 1031: Error of Myopia

Tinkered Thinking

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