working with people smarter than yourself is a great way to learn things and i generally recommend it, but occasionally the fly in the ointment is that working with people who are _way_ smarter than you is a constant exercise in just not having the cognitive ability to keep up with the *output* of people smarter than you, let alone dealing with all the incredibly frustrating shit that the smart people cope with by virtue of just being better at everything.


like: smart, diligent people with a high tolerance for complexity will just soak up the bullshit that it takes about 4/5 of a brennen to brain and have about 2.5 brennens worth of brain left over for the actual doing of things.

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while i, a resolute dumbass a decade past a cognitive peak that wasn't all that high anyway, am frequently left switching browser tabs and making mouth movements like a fish stranded on a beach.

@brennen I really want to boost this, it is objectively uproariously funny because of how much I identify with it, but I just cannot because in it you're being mean to a person I like

@gnomon part of me really wants to normalize talking frankly about experiences like this, because they're real in various ways that the Discourse™ around "impostor syndrome" and whatnot doesn't cover (or actively obscures), and i think they condition a whole bunch of situations, but then it's... kind of a fraught collection of subjects, easy to have it drift in ugly directions.

@brennen I like to think of "smart" and "high tolerance for complexity" as mutually exclusive tbh like ... if you were really smart you would use that brain power on simplifying things.

@technomancy @brennen In an ideal situation, perhaps. But being "smart" doesn't make somebody able to decide their priorities in a work situation. And even if they could, they might decide on their own that reducing complexity isn't the highest priority thing. (Says the not-so-very-smart person dealing with what is possibly their complexity limit.) :/

@cstanhope @brennen somewhat agree but in most cases the smart thing to do in that situation is to find somewhere else to work where you *can* have a shot at bringing complexity back down into tolerable levels.

certainly not smart to assume everyone around you has the same complexity tolerance levels as you do.

@technomancy @brennen No disagreement there. Taking action on that isn't quick, however. :)

@technomancy i have a tendency to think that

a) people often don't really realize what their own capacities make seem reasonable to them, and

b) it's usually less work in the moment to deal with the nonsense n+1 times than making the nonsense go away, and once the nonsense accumulates enough, it's hard to scrape up the energy for the latter if the former doesn't feel that onerous at any one time.

@brennen I guess what I'm getting at is that being a good leader on a software team is half being good at reading/writing code and half being aware of your context and making sure that you're working within the limits of what your team can accomplish.

actually it's more like 20/80 who am I kidding.

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