12 Comments

> Is she fundamentally different from me in some profound way? Does she just have more energy resources? Or does she (and everyone else here) habitually exaggerate their productivity?

One thing I always forget about in this type of situation is that lots of people are on drugs. I was never around any kind of drugs growing up so it's not something that occurs to me as a factor.

"This artist is so creative, how do they come up with such.… oh, right."

"This person is so productive, how do they have the time and focus to create so much.... oh, right."

"Wow she's so comfortable talking to people at this party, how is it possible to be so... oh, right."

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> The person assures me no don’t worry, it’s super easy. I believe they think it’s easy, but I’m not sure they are properly modeling how little I know about this.

One thing worth remembering is that this person may also not understand how to do it. Lots of people have an impression that things are straightforward and easy because they've heard them described in those terms repeatedly, but have not actually tried them. This is particularly true of people who are otherwise highly successful, and so used to being able to figure things out when they need to. I have certainly made this error in the past with regards to telling people about things where I think I understand the process, but not having done it, I was unaware of important steps.

> Is she fundamentally different from me in some profound way? Does she just have more energy resources? Or does she (and everyone else here) habitually exaggerate their productivity?

There are three things that I've noticed about "hyper-productive" people. One, they tend to work across several domains, so that much of their downtime or recovery time is still productive. Two, they are usually able to gain energy/motivation from the fact of some things getting done, and doing small things and getting a lot of them done lets them build momentum. Three, they often enjoy exercise enough to be fairly fit, and have high general energy levels.

I have often wondered to what degree these are inherent as they appear to be things that could be learned, and they aren't necessary qualities for achieving a lot, but they are definitely useful.

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I felt hyper aware of the staff workers that night, working mostly in the shadows, like they were the mud from which I had crawled.

Great fucking line.

Reading this as a 20+ year fine dining restaurant professional, you do a great job describing a vibe. It's strange to feel invisible to people like the ones you describe. I simultaneously wonder, when I hang out with some of them, if they're just placating me.

Thanks for this

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> I’m surprised to find that many people here aren’t very good at thinking. Like, they’re good, but not very good.

Hmmm. That struck a chord. I work in a world with a bunch of VERY smart people. I'm no slouch, but I would never assume I'm the smartest in the room. But even though I work with people who are brilliant engineers, they don't seem to be able to think beyond what they're focused on. And they're incurious about anything outside the field they've mastered. My initial hypothesis was that it was a side-effect of STEM background focused on engineering, but I've seen the same *focus* at the expense of *breadth* among MDs and PhDs in the life sciences. I considered the idea that it might be a side-effect of working for an advanced degree. But I jumped through most of the hoops for an advanced degree (except for completing my thesis) and I didn't lose my curiosity. Of course people who successfully get an advanced degree may have the focus that I didn't have. But I've come to the conclusion that intelligence has little correlation to curiosity. Most of these very brilliant people are incurious—and anything outside their area of focus is uninteresting to them. And because of that, they don't seem to be very introspective, and they don't seem to display flexible thinking outside their domain of expertise. I recently read a study where ADD and ADHD has been correlated with curiosity and creativity. I'm ADD, and maybe that's why I don't have the *focus* that these people have, but I have the thinking *flexibility* that they don't possess. ?

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Jul 19, 2022·edited Jul 19, 2022

Not sure if this was a true part of the story, but if you actually wanted to learn about how publishing in psych science journals works, I'm a PhD in psych / cognitive science and would be happy to share the ins-and-outs with you :). (Feel free to email me if you're interested -- thatadammorris at gmail)

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Do you feel like the people at that party were happy with their position in society or were they still doing the rat race and trying to score into the "true" big league - i.e. somewhere in the $500m+ net worth range.

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Jul 18, 2022·edited Jul 18, 2022

One of the most relatable things I've read in a while, Even with the shameless product shill, ....especially the last paragraph.

I've been to college, and at least the college I went, never prepared me for these kinds of people.

What still stuns me, is even with my STEM degree and expirence with advanced mathematics, is how fundamentally financially illiterate I am. It's as if the entire field of accountancy is merley obtuse notation and obscure vernacular constructed by lawyers so these people can necessitate their own existence.

I don't even understand my 401k because I've never dedicated the hours to decoding the nuance.

Also these people always exaggerate their own productivity.

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Hmm... if this is the elite class, I'm definitely not part of it. But I'm not 100% not part of it either—I attend a school that likely many people in the article would have, I know the steps required to get published in a journal or go into finance, and know a handful of people who attended boarding school. However, I would never expect to be able to afford another house or to throw parties like this. I also can't say I'm 100% aware of the specific social norms—I think me and many of my close friends being on the "new money" side of things (family being recent immigrants) contributes to that.

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If you want to learn about boarding school, I recommend you read a novel called Prep about, well, you'll see.

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Test

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Loved this, thanks for sharing!

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“They don’t understand the shape of my curiosity“

YOU ARE A FUCKING AMAZING WRITER. Your ability to express yourself in ways that are so accessible is a TRUE GIFT. Well done.

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