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Showing posts from April, 2014

Showdown at the OK Plateau

In reading about productivity tricks learned from the late author David Foster Wallace, I was introduced to the notion of the "OK Plateau," a concept coined by another author, Joshua Foer, who defines this as the place where people reach an acceptable level of skill and then stop trying to learn new things, which Wallace describes in his very long novel Infinite Jest.
"Then [there's] maybe the worst type, because it can cunningly masquerade as patience and humble frustration. You've got the Complacent type, who improves radically until he hits a plateau, and is content with the radical improvement he's made to get to the plateau, and doesn't mind staying at the plateau because it's comfortable and familiar, and he doesn't worry about getting off it, and pretty soon you find he's designed a whole game around compensating for the weaknesses and chinks in the armor the given plateau represents in his game, still — his whole game is based on this …