Blank slate

Daring Fireball: Blank Slate

The last paragraph in the linked piece is why I learned early on that for me to to do good research, I do not read anyone else’s work until my own idea is sorted out. Of course, you can end up redoing some basic stuff. But even that can be useful sometimes.
The linked article is about design, but it applies to figuring out research problems to solve, and then solving them.

Default templates are terrific for people who can’t or don’t want to design their own — but they’re terrible starting points for anyone attempting to establish their own unique brand. If you start with nothing, you’re forced to think about everything.

I always cringe when I hear people say: If you are going to work on that, do a literature review first. Nooooo.

(Ironically, my site’s is from a template. But I am not trying to establish a brand here, only to try to sort some stuff out for myself.)

2 responses to “Blank slate

  1. I tend to see the process as more symbiotic. You get an idea, think about it, start reading about it, think more, revise your thinking, read more, etc. Also, if you’ve been working in a field for a while, don’t you have a partial lit review already going on in your head?

  2. Greg,

    all good points.

    I was being unclear; I meant doing stuff in a new sub-area or a new topic to me. I learned that there are basic tools in the field, and then you just apply those principles to different things. Of course that’s vague, because the tools expand, so to speak.

    But as I learn new stuff, I learn applied things to use them on, if that makes any sense.

    People trained the way I am tend to be slightly out of the mainstream. The benefit is that you see things a new way. The cost is that you are often out in left field.

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