无语的大牙

Paul Graham谈追寻杰出的人

美国著名程序员、博客作者和技术作家保罗·格雷厄姆(Paul Graham)在其个人网站上的长文《How to do great work》给仍然雄心勃勃的年轻人提了一些建议,适合每位对自己仍有期望的朋友反复阅读。下面是本文的第二十部分摘录:


If a lot of the best people in your field are collected in one place, it’s usually a good idea to visit for a while. It will increase your ambition, and also, by showing you that these people are human, increase your self-confidence.

If you’re earnest you’ll probably get a warmer welcome than you might expect. Most people who are very good at something are happy to talk about it with anyone who’s genuinely interested. If they’re really good at their work, then they probably have a hobbyist’s interest in it, and hobbyists always want to talk about their hobbies.

It may take some effort to find the people who are really good, though. Doing great work has such prestige that in some places, particularly universities, there’s a polite fiction that everyone is engaged in it. And that is far from true. People within universities can’t say so openly, but the quality of the work being done in different departments varies immensely. Some departments have people doing great work; others have in the past; others never have.

如果某个领域的众多顶尖人才聚集在同一地方,那么去那里参访一段时间通常是一个明智的决定。这将增强你的雄心壮志,同时也通过展示这些人也是凡人,增加你的自信心。

如果你真心对他们的领域感兴趣,你可能会比预期受到更热情的欢迎。大多数在某个领域非常优秀的人都乐于与任何真正感兴趣的人交流。如果他们在自己的工作上表现出色,那么他们往往会像业余爱好者一样充满热情地讨论这个领域。

然而,要找到真正优秀的人可能需要一些努力。在某些地方,特别是大学,做出卓越工作被赋予了很高的声望,以至于存在着一种彬彬有礼的假设,即每个人都在从事卓越工作。但实际情况远非如此。大学内部的人也许不能公开表达这种观点,但不同部门的工作质量存在着巨大的差异。有些部门正在进行卓越的工作,有些部门曾经有过卓越的成就,而还有一些部门则从未有过。


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