Hacking seems to be pretty popular.
(Arguably) having begun in the domains of engineering and computing , we can now hack cooking, fitness, foreign languages and our very own lives (I’ll admit my own life is richer for being prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse)
The best web based definition I can find is “an appropriate application of ingenuity…usually via a quick, inelegant process”. The Oxford English Dictionary at best offers “to gain unauthorised access to data in a system or computer”, but there is something of the gaining access to information which can empower us which I think is contained in it’s now popular usage.
I came across this term via the very famous “language hacker”, Benny Lewis, who offers tips and insights into how to “supercharge” your language learning… and my Spanish needs supercharged…
I will say here and now that the wisdom of the “hacker” is lost without implementation of their advice, and with the thousands of available TED talks and how-to guides online, we can find ourselves awash with advice but no further forward with our own pursuits.
Very much of the hacker’s advice – from all disciplines – can be niftily surmised in that three word sportswear corporate cliche that I’ve clumsily used many more words to avoid writing (goddam – that’s good advertising).
And as a procrastinator, from a family of procrastinators I recognise this for the sound advice it is, but will probably watch another few youtube videos, just to be sure i’m not missing out on any more vital tips.
But I’m being a little unfair, as although I was well aware of “just speak to people” as being a vital part of language acquisition (thanks to a lengthy and expensive acquisition of French – je me debrouille bien maintainant, merci), the use of formal spaced repetition, some hints on accent reduction, specific resources such as duolingo, anki and italki have all been very helpful in moving my Spanish forward.
But can drawing be hacked?
Has my drawing moved forward as much as my Spanish in the same time frame? Particularly taking into consideration that I’d consider myself naturally better at the former than the latter?
In all honestly probably not.
Tonight I’m going to have a have a bit of a think about this, probably a bit of a trawl on the internet and see what conclusions I can reach, with regard to moving my drawing forward.
The first thing that occurs to me is that measuring “moving forward” in language is certainly more straightforward than “moving forward” in terms of drawing.
I’ll let you know what happens.
But I’d definitely be interested to know your thoughts on the matter. Is drawing/art/craft the antithesis of hacking? Hacking seemingly prioritising the result over process… How do we measure progress and most importantly, what do we do to achieve it?
P.S. does this article look very much like procrastination to you? 😉 – I’ve got another Sevillian cafe to “subtract” from my remaining €15 or so but it’s partially related to the upcoming post…