Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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The most efficient way to find something you like is to identify it, figure out where to find it, then go find it. This is why we have search engines and indexes and maps. This is why bookstores and groceries and department stores try to sort their wares into logical arrangements, to facilitate this efficient search.

Not everything needs to be efficient however. There’s something to be said for exploration - browsing, meandering, walking down new paths, and so on. Browsing and exploration are a means of discovery - a means of finding things which you wouldn’t have known to search for. Many times there might be nothing remarkable to find, but sometimes you get lucky and you find something new or something extraordinary or something to latch on to.

Purely random discovery might be too much of a waste of time though. Filtered discovery might be better - exploring avenues related to or similar to things you already like. For a while now I’ve been adding new blogs to my Feedly reading lists, and many times when reading posts from one interesting blog they link to another one that I also find interesting, so the collection can grow quickly. It will also often happen that those blogs have slightly different interests than mine, and so I find myself exposed to something a bit outside of my usual spheres. If it’s of interest, it’s an opportunity for growth. If not, well, not all exploration can be fruitful, right?

In this age of echo chambers, maybe we all need a bit more discovery in our lives.

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