One of Lifes Secrets: Almost Everyone Can 

My foray into robotics reminded me a few things.  First, experts are nice, but helpful experts are rare wonderful amazing humans in short supply.  Second, read the instructions.  Third, effort alone can overcome the near impossible.  Fourth, good technology is usually high in ease of use.  Fifth, sheer perfection earns points from a judge but doesn't win awards from the universe at large.  Sixth, 95% of the specialized skills an expert uses day to day can be fit on a four page cheat sheet available for purchase from various educational outlets.  (or try the internet - fountain of both human knowledge and babble)

I guess what I'm saying is almost everyone can do almost anything.  Just like almost every baby can learn to speak Japanese, almost anyone can learn robotics, mathematics, music, paint å la Tim's Vermeer, do rudimentary echolocation, computer programming, learn the basics of medicine or how to be a better human.  It all requires time and effort and the uncertain pain of many fumbles... but we humans can sort it out and in pretty short order.

Which makes me wonder why we don't.  Our society seems intent on stagnant expert exaltation - that that has benefits and costs.  The last time I went to a doctor with a running injury I was X-rayed for micro fractures and prescribed ibuprofen... very very expensive ibuprofen.   Having only every taken ibuprofen for fevers, the use for pain management was a revelation.  And I still feel stupid for paying for an expert to get exactly the same advice that my wife gave me.

I think our society's expert and specialist obsession costs us too. The mundane steals the time and lives of experts, and ever increases the cost of their consultation.  Probably thats why happy helpful ones are increasingly rare flowers.

You don't have to be Anne Leibovitz to chance snap a fantastic lovely photo with a smart phone.  You don't have to be an expert to get joy from learning and doing something new.  Don't expect perfection, just cross the finish line and you might be surprised that you are perfectly content with the result.  There is something marathon-sublime in starting a project beyond one's present abilities and finishing it. 

Perhaps the biggest secret of nearly every expert:  You wouldn't want just anyone doing this, and it can be tedious, and mistakes can be costly, but actually what I do is not difficult.


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