It’s like a three-ring circus in my brain at the moment. I’ve been thinking about excellence and how it applies to the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, to higher education and to writing stuff like theology or comedy dialogue. And I think I want to say three things:
1) Getting the details right is important, but not because of the details. When enough details accumulate, you lose sight of details and see instead a rich environment. That’s when you win big time.
2) The second one is like it: The best reason for complexity is to get to simple. And often a simplicity that comes from a place of complexity is the most satisfying / funny / beautiful of all.
3) The point of standing on the shoulders of giants is to look out at the vista not just to look at the giants. For my money, too much scholarship is scholarship aimed at understanding scholarship, and too many ‘ultrabooks’ are about being what the other ultrabooks are.
I doubt these are “three rules for excellence” or anything so grand. They’re just things I’ve been thinking of.