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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Environment

I get smarter around smarter people, and dumber around dumber ones. In an intelligent environment, my intelligence also increases, and the lack of such an environment drags me down. When I read too much bad prose, my prose gets worse. Good stylistic models challenge me to improve.

I have an internalized standard of quality, which I developed in Graduate School. It came down a bit when I realized my field didn't really have the same standard. This allowed me to ease up a bit, in a way that I was not happy about, but I never really lost my standard. I know exactly where it is.

4 comments:

Andrew Shields said...

You put it into a safe-deposit box?

Shedding Khawatir said...

So when one discovers that the standard is lower in one's field, what do you recommend?

Jonathan said...

1) Seek out the best people in your field. Make sure you are up to their standard. Seek out intelligent people in other fields as well.

2) Try not to get arrogant. That's a mistake I made.

profacero said...

@Shedding:

1) Yes.
2) Contra that: remember who you are. That's a mistake I made.