The Fine Art of Opportunism

No, this is not the start of a post where I point and cackle evilly as I explain how the whole “training course” thing was a sham calculated to help me harvest and sell your email addresses to spammers in Katmandu.

But, you know how I keep dancing around this whole “it’s not about PROBLEMS” topic? (If you don’t, look here, here, and here). You might want to get a coffee first.)

Well today I found an essay called The Fine Art of Opportunism by Venkatesh Rao, who has yet another angle on the topic. And unlike mine, it’s nicely broken down into bullet points. He uses a totally everyday experience (running out of coffee) as the starting point for his dissection, which is wise, I think.

But he doesn’t stop there:

Perhaps the single biggest barrier to opportunistic behaviors is a sort of puritanism drilled into us by most cultures that an outcome is not won fairly if it is won without an effort proportionate to its value. Gamblers are not respected in any culture. Not even smart gamblers who learn to count the cards at blackjack.

As the kids say: Word.

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2 Comments

  1. Venkat says:

    Thanks for the shoutout Amy. I keep meaning to do take 2 on opportunism. Will, someday.

    In the meantime, was intrigued by your skepticism of definitions at design in one of your links. As it happens, I attempted one too (as you say, everyone discovers this particular form of intellectual masturbation):

    http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/04/08/design-and-architecture/

    In/out of your bullshit threshold?

    Venkat

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