It appeared on his list right after “1. Pursue your passion” and “2. Read widely“. which I interprete as 1. depth and 2. breadth — the irreconcilable ideals that Jenny recently discussed with Stephen. Picking and filtering can, in a way, reconcile them:
- Picking ones’s niches and pursuing them in pretty good depth,
- but picking them from sufficiently diverse breadth.
In our time of information overabundance, this seems to me the only way to balance disciplinary and transdisciplinary virtues.
In my ESL understanding, it is therefore a critical skill in the sense of “critical” as pivotal, decisive, crucial. If “critical” necessarily involves critique and evaluating the truth, this is a totally different emphasis, of course. Resonance, as Jenny and I explored it, has much to do with picking — unlike its mentions in the forums discussion here and here where resonance sounded more like a fuzzy variant of confirming/ evaluating a single thought.
The inclination to pick some topics and “let go” all the rest, seems like a mindset that not everybody is comfortable with (see Rita’s post for more about feeling comfortable in semi-autonomous environments). Is this “mindset” a matter of preferences, habits, and styles, or is it a requirement that applies for everybody? Despite my ESL limitations, I tend to believe the latter.