• Subtract

    Subtract  – The untapped science of less.  Leidy Klotz

    Book review:
    I wrote this for myself so the sentence structure may not be to high school standards. It is an interesting concept to remove things to solve problems or create something. Most and I mean most everyone adds stuff to stuff to solve stuff and eventually it all collapses.

    Basically when people approach something, anything they rarely think of solving the problem with subtraction.

    Pedal bike for children. Average kid can ride a pedal bike age 5. A dad thought how to get it younger, came up with the bike with no pedals. A 2 year old can ride one. The problem was solved by subtracting the pedals vs adding training wheels.

    Turn data to knowledge to wisdom. The brain/body can be like a machine if you make it too full, it may not process anything.

    Humans have a need to deal with their environments. How well we deal with it can be called “competence”. When you tick something off a list you can show competence. It is more difficult to show others competence by NOT doing something, ie subtraction does not give you a box to tick that others will notice.

    Odometer analogy. When actual numbers are not used. We value some changes more than others. The first shake of salt is more change to taste than the 10th. Volume going from 0 to 1 or 1 to 2 seems more change than 7 to 8. The change we sense depends on the initial state.
    If hunting and there are 8 or 9 elephants doesn’t really matter, but if there are 1 or 2 it would be much easier to kill one if the was only 1.
    I see a relation to making the first 100K is way more life changing than making the next 900k as the difference it actually makes is less.

    Psychologist George Miller. Wrote the paper how the mind can handle 7 things at a time. It’s more like 0 to 9. But what is a “thing” changes it all. The one thing we can agree upon is avoid overwhelming the capacity of your working memory. Must boil things down to the ‘essence’. Ie what to leave in and what to take out.
      Find the systems and build many things into one thing, ask yourself – what is the system trying to achieve. It allows more into the working memory. Eg. Kung Fu, move, block, punch to move-block-punch at the same-ish time.
       Most people learn in chunks, the problem we rarely go back and declutter some of those chunks, turning them into one cohesive unit of knowledge, design, output…

    4 takeaways.

    Invert: try less before more. The sculptor chipped away all that was not the lion. Remember less is not a loss, but your brain will initially have a harder time keeping score. There are many famous authors who said. I was too lazy to make this letter shorter. It can be more work to innovate a less is better solution.

    Expand. Think add and subtract. Zoom out and in on components of your situation and see what you see from different views, also solicit other views from people.

    Distill. Strip it down to what sparks joy. Embrace complexity and strive for the essence.

    Persist. Keep subtracting, you can re-use your subtraction. Eg doughnut holes.

    picutre credit: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41OSGXJrKuL.SX327_BO1,204,203,200.jpg