-- A blog maintained by a pessimistic over-confident High-School kid.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Attention to Detail vs. Shortcuts

Through my attempts at "enlightenment" and trying to understand the world, I came to an insight where because objects of our creation are only the combination of smaller objects, the hard-work could be saved when one understands the essentials of the desired product. An essay could be hashed out without attention to detail if the right words are used. There are only so many ways to convey an idea and only so many words you could use. Describing a character's emotion differs little in conditions of varying detail: "His heart tinkles" and "He felt something special" have little change, and I thought I could cheat the system by just consciously assuming the desired output. While you could come to the quality of the first one by actually paying attention and deliberately trying, you could also arrive to it just by strategically using it, skipping the effort (it is just words at the end of the day). Attention to detail takes time and effort, while my fantasized method takes less, saving time for my coding, drawing, etc. But this theory of mine is false, and it took me 2 months to realize. 


Only if I knew. Skipping the effort is not a possible reality, at least for me. The last 3 scores entered into my grade book proves so. 

Just the passing Wednesday, I took a math test on course material I already learned 2 years ago, and I skipped the efforts of reviewing as I was confident in my abilities. But it is my lack of heart and attention that led to careless mistakes as a result. During the test, I was aware of my lack of review, so I quadruple checked (not exaggerating) my answers upon submission. My answers turned out to be perfect, but I skipped over the conventions that the teacher wanted. This is arguably unavoidable without heart and attention put into the subject class. My hypothesis of effectively skipping the effort was rejected. But I persisted, I thought it was the teacher's fault of not announcing and explaining his intentions beforehand.

But examples of the failure in my shortcuts keep resurfacing. A similar thing happened when I took a test in Biology. I was once again confident in my abilities as I understood the core concepts of the chapter quite well in my own assessment. I romanticized my ability to translate my understanding into words. As a result, I did badly on the test. Even with hindsight, I would argue that I understood everything on the test perfectly, but it is once again my unfamiliarity with the conventions and words that made my downfall. My shortcut was to purely use my understanding to deal with the test, and it failed in response to my lack of attention to detail. I skipped over essential parts and vocabs that, with effort, I would not have otherwise. 

The final nail in the coffin is the submission of my English homework. This relates to the example I gave in the introduction, where my words reflected the lack of heart and effort in my answers. I thought with all the blog posts I have written and all the constantly debating inner-dialogues within my head, my literacy would excel. But at the end of the day, it still comes true again that my lack of attention resulted in grammar mistakes and misused words. 


My belief in shortcuts comes from how professionals could churn out masterpieces with little effort. I thought the magical brilliance I somehow displayed last year was an indication that I have achieved a level that I am not in. My "brilliance" was the product of my hard work and not because of some genius attribute of mine. I fell down into this rabbit hole of using confidence to mask my shortcomings, and it had finally hit rock bottom. Things are always better late than never, and this concludes the enjoyment of the time I "saved" for the last 2 months. I have to go back to my last year's self (effort-wise) and do my due diligence. And might I add that from my experience of last year, it truly feels like torture1 to work with that much effort. The only thing merry about it was the looking back of the products of my efforts, and I guess I have no choice but to go back into that state. While Elon Musk's efforts trump mine by light-years, he said, "I do not regret not enjoying my life (for the things [I] achieved)", and I have to follow his lead and do the things necessary.

If time could not be cheated out of existing agendas, the only way out is to occupy more of my free time, as much of a torture1 it is. The future always awaits us, and our decisions set anchors into the past. My fantasy of being unworldly efficient in my work has to come to an end, and whether I am able to resume my constant streams of effort leaves unanswered in the future.

This is a super rough sketch because it was for hw.

I guess there are still things that I could take shortcuts with,
I just have to not make it a habit. 

After a good night's sleep (~3 hours), I conclude that I just have to always have humility, no matter the situation. I guess that it was just that my programming ego took over me, cuz throughout the past year, people had 100% trust in my programming skills, however false that is.

1: Okay, it's not torture per se. It is just that I was writing this blog post 3 in the morning, and everything is dark when you are tired, lol. How torturous can high school be?

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