Possibly interesting article on winning: How to seem good at everything: Stop doing stupid shit

Summary, as I interpreted it: In practicing a skill, focus on increasing the minimum of the quality of the individual actions comprising performing the skill (because that is the greatest marginal benefit).

[This article previously posted as an open thread comment.]

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[-][anonymous]11y 11

This seems like another instance of "pick the low-hanging fruit," which is not to say it's useless--people frequently forget to consider simple, obvious things like "to win, you have to not die so much." I guess maybe it's because easy, basic things are low-status?

I have a trick I sometimes use in group discussions, where I try to say the most obvious thing that no one else has said yet. The results are often illuminating. I must confess I would use it more often if it made me look smart.

[-][anonymous]11y 7

The first comment summed up my reaction:

How do you identify what is stupid shit?

Talk to someone with more experience, as suggested by both his examples?

Here's the actual link, for those who don't like links to posts that contain links to the actual content.

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Oops, not intended, fixed.

The article was not actually about how to seem good at everything, it was about how to actually be good at everything.

Crucial difference.

Nice link. Chess and piano performance were the two examples that came to mind for me before clicking the link.

However, increasing the quality that yields the greatest marginal benefit is not necessarily the same as increasing the minimum of the individual actions (assuming you don't define "minimum quality" in terms of marginal benefit). For example, if the lowest quality action only has a small impact on outcome, there is probably something else it would be more beneficial to improve. Of course, some composite skills probably do have performance proportional to min(indvidual_skill), in which case increasing the minimum would always be most beneficial, but most don't.

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