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Wednesday
Feb072018

Simplicity

The world is complex. But all meaning comes from wise simplification. –Derek Thompson

Someone asked me the other day what I would say I do for a living. Beyond selling booze, more to the essence of what I think my job is. I told that person: "I simplify things. I take a vast world of endless possibility and I break it down into a more easily comprehendible explanation." In a nutshell, that's been my life since I was a grad student, then an elementary school teacher, and now an industry professional.

That being said, I've been feeling lately like I'm not very good at anything other than staying busy. I've been wondering if I could do anything else with my life if given the chance, which is why my mother recommended that I read a new book by Atlantic writer Derek Thompson called Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction. She thought I might find a bit of meaning from a business-oriented book that tackles the science of viral success in our modern age. I have to admit thus far that when I'm not utterly horrified by what I'm reading, I'm finding a lot of inspiration in what Thompson has to say. 

He writes: "...audiences are hungry for meaning, and their preferences are guided by an interplay between the complex and the simple, the situation of new things and a deep comfort with the familiar."

It's nice to know there's still translation work available in this world, even if it's no longer for masters of foreign languages. It's basically just simple curation. Find the essence of something and help others understand why it's important. 

-David Driscoll