I’ve recently observed how particularly in the last 200-500 years there’s been a praiseworthy and concerted effort to synthesize the most important fundamentals of a field or topic, which has often been fairly successful in many of them. And then those findings have been promulgated widely (as they should be). However instead of people being satisfied with the 80-90% impact from learning and mastering the “boring” fundamentals, there’s a significant rejection of essentials as “basic” or “amateur” and instead obtain the “REAL tricks” or “secrets” that give REAL results. All the while ignoring the most impactful things in pursuit of shiny objects and easy wins.

Take “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Carnegie. Let’s say for example maybe this book represents ~80% of the most useful advice on interacting with others (maybe unlikely), but yet one of the most common criticisms in the Amazon reviews is that it’s “too simple”, but what if that represents ignoring the most important 80% and pursuing some unobtainable rounding error elite tips that only maybe amount for 20% that a high level athlete might need.

So in the end, the admirable search and wide availability of the primary things has potentially made them level with all ideas (eg TED, YouTube, Medium), which might cause people to take them for granted and then seek superfluous methods. How should we identify truly significant primary things, and then draw focus to them?