Note — Dec 06, 2020

Going Indie Is Going Amateur

Seen in → No.153

Source →

I’m not 100% onboard with this essay by Venkatesh Rao, if only because he’s trying to reclaim “amateur,” which seems like an unnecessary uphill climb. Some excellent points in there though, and using Sherlock Holmes’ unshackled amateurism in opposition to Lestrade and Watson’ professional blinders is an excellent framing for how amateur indies can bring useful perspectives.

Note: Through generalism, I’d attach this to John V Willshire’s video introduction to Zenko Mapping, which is a fantastic way to re-interpret the Zoom lecture (i.e., not one at all) but also closing on adaptability, definitely a characteristic of the amateur indie.

And this is something all the characters are aware of. So it is not as though Lestrade or Watson are clueless about their professional blinders. They are aware of them, and aware that Holmes represents a way around their own limitations. […]

It might be a self-congratulatory conceit, but Sherlock Holmes, I would argue, is the model every independent consultant ought to aspire to. Not in the sense of affecting the posture of a genius, but in the sense of ignoring the contours of knowledge held to be self-evidently meaningful and important by professionals, and navigating by your own amateur — but grounded — maps of the territory.