Someone sent me this article.
This is what wrote back:
“I find it hard not to see this article as pessimism dressed up as pragmatism, and also think that the argument isn’t particularly sound.
The main issue I have with the logic of the argument is that the example the author sets up is a person who has a lot of passion but doesn’t want to put the work in. But she draws the conclusion that the problem is that people aren’t always well suited for their passions or desires. Why isn’t it the conclusion that most people don’t invest enough in their passions to make them manifest?
As far as I understand it, pursuing something you love has very little to do with IQ or being ‘good’ at something, and has everything to do with persistence and effort. What this article doesn’t even mention is the hundreds and thousands of people out there who work on things they love because it makes them feel fulfilled as an individual, regardless of whether they find reinforcement from the world around them.
If we were to look at someone like Kafka or Louise Bourgeois as examples, I have a feeling this author would consider them to be in the wrong practice, or line of work, because no one was paying attention to what they did, and both critics and peers were very negative about their output. However, what was really happening was that their output was at odds with trends and the ‘market’ of the world at the time.
The fact that this author doesn’t see the value of a pursuit beyond it’s immediate and local relevance is somewhat absurd to me. As is comparing the practice of being a doctor with being an author. The requirements, outcomes and shape of those pursuits couldn’t be more different, and factors like: mentorship, quality of training and environment matter as much as something like IQ.
Anyway, I feel kind of bad for anyone that takes her advice, as she seems to advocate this kind of Ayn Rand dystopia where we should all accept whatever external forces tell us and be happy with our place in the wheel. That kind of thinking is a great way to kill what makes human culture vibrant and curious in the first place!”