Toolkits — 77

This post is part of Project: Inception, written ~8 years ago. It has been untouched from its original, pseudonymous, form. It is also part of the larger “farewell” tour and countdown as I turn-off this blog and head to the metaverse where I will live out the rest of my wonderful days. I hope to see you there!

Toolkits

A simple toolkit, that’s all I ask.

One of the best things about the work that I do is that it requires very few literal tools to accomplish great things. At this point in time all I need is my trusty notebook computer, a power cable, and a half-decent wifi (although I’ve spent an incredible amount of time and energy on my technology network at home – we have our own private cell tower as well). I like to geek out on the few tools that I have!

What’s interesting is that I’ve begun to notice a trend among very talented people, many of them aspies, and it’s this idea that the more talented that individual is the less tools that they ultimately require. You see, when the quantitative toolkit becomes smaller the closer we become to the activity and interest itself. Consequently, the more natural the activity becomes.

I’m surrounded by technology – I’m literally drowning in it! But most of it is complete noise to the few signals that really exist and work for me. I’m not an app-fiend; actually I’m the complete opposite as I don’t even have email or a browser on my mobile device anymore. My iPhone has become a “dumbphone” instead of a very smart one. I just don’t need all those “props” to get my work done and I’ve isolated and focused my attention on the few tools that really get the work done.

I’ve hyper-focused my efforts and my efforts flourish and produce exactly what is expected. You see, in many ways, the more talented and focused the individual is the less they need all those “extras” – the less they require outside of themselves to get the task accomplished.

And I love that. We have so many examples of this in real life as some of the most celebrated artists and creatives used nothing more than raw materials for their work, a brush, a pen, a hammer and chisel. It’s been said that even Abraham Lincoln, not exactly your archetypal creative, wrote his masterful Gettysburg Address on a piece of ordinary stationary that he had borrowed from the owner of the establishment in which he was staying, temporarily, at the time.

On the flip-side of things, Van Gogh rarely used more than 6 colors for his work that is now priced well over $5 billion dollars – nearly 1 color per billion dollar value. He didn’t need Adobe Photoshop. He didn’t need some fancy-smancy library of brushes for each different color or 1,000 different color palettes to choose from – just his mind and his brush and a few pigments would do the trick.

You see, the point of this is that there is absolutely zero direct correlation between the creative and the expanse of their equipment library. There is zero correlation between talent and tools. And the more time I’ve spent doing what I do best the less and less tools that I really need and every year it seems as if it gets smaller. 

The artist doesn’t want to be encumbered by tools, equipment, and especially ownership and upkeep. They want the rawness of their skills to be present on whatever “canvas” their using. A man and his skateboard – that’s all he needs. A woman in water (competive swimming) doesn’t need anything else except her mind. Myself and my notebook computer so that I can write endless lines of code and words to encourage others. You and your pencil, perhaps an eraser as well.

We have most of what we need to do our greatest work and yet technology and the ever-increasing options for tools seem to tempt us every step of the way. We simply need less than we believe we need and we don’t want to hide behind any of those tools anyway so that our art can be fully appreciated.

This is one reason the aspie creative can be an incredible breath of fresh air to the world – we do not rely exclusively on these things to get in our way as others do. We want to be the very best at what we do and although our methods and practices and behavior may seem odd our focus is unparalleled and unfettered – whether we use state-of-the-art tools or not is less of the point and rather that we use whatever we’ve chosen really well. We are craftsmen, we are artistans, and we don’t mess around.

If we can encourage individuals and organizations to spend less time and energy and resources on things that don’t matter then I believe the world will be a better place. It’ll be much more creative and more people will feel free to create instead of the burden and pressure to become “good” at the next tool.

We’re good at asking the tough question:

Do I really need that to accomplish this task?

Almost by instinct we know whether it’s useful or not. Can we help you neurotypicals do that better? We’re seriously know what we’re doing.