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Really excellent thoughts and observations from the research arena that apply to creative as well as scientific pursuits:

http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/YouAndYourResearch.html
(Transcription of the Bell Communications Research Colloquium Seminar, 7 March 1986)

I hadn’t heard of this piece until recently (via a friend’s Facebook post). This transcription makes for a long read, but it’s quite worth the time.

Some notes:

  • you have to constantly work hard. really really really hard, and really really constantly.
  • sometimes, less-than-ideal work conditions create the right opportunies and/or points of view that are necessary to make certain breakthrough discoveries
  • why the time crunch on ambitious work: there’s competition, and some things are truly hard to accomplish in one lifetime
  • you probably have to ignore your family/personal partner (although i like to think that the creative arenas have much precedent in the way of creative couples: Charles & Ray Eames, Zuzana Licko & Rudy Vanderlans [of Emigre magazine], Kim Gordon & Thurston Moore [of Sonic Youth]…this list gives me hope: http://thenewdomestic.com/2010/12/creative-couples/)
  • possible reason for why few people have subsequent achievements to match the brilliance of the the breakthrough accomplishment: many go on to positions of management/leadership…they no longer do the nitty-gritty work that led them to their breakthrough discovery

Found: via friend who shared the link on Facebook (summer, 2010)

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