The Da Vinci Complex
It might seem a bit conceited to associate such a grand name with so plain a blogger, but the Da Vinci Complex is not ultimately a good thing. Da Vinci, during his life, while he had a glorious multitude of ideas, followed through on fairly few, especially in the field of invention.
What I call the Da Vinci Complex (there’s probably a proper name somewhere, something nice, medicinal, clinical, and soulless) is when you want to do more than is possible, resulting in you dashing from project to project, never becoming brilliant at something because you want to do everything. I’d say it’s safe to say I fit that; my biggest struggle at the moment is figuring out what I want to do with myself. I love the sciences, I love philosophy, I love history, I love literature, I love art, etc. I want to try even more. On this list, there’s programming, linguistics, theologian, music, and a few assorted fields. But it is impossible to do all these things, so projects go unfinished, skills poorly honed. I dread having to lock into any path- I want to do it all, even though I know it will ultimately fail. As I write, I have unfinished physics homework on quantum theory and a Spanish Oral test in need of writing and memorization, because I a) want to write, b) want to compose music, and c) wanting to spend time with my family.
Man is past the age where a jack of all trades could be great in all of them. Each art requires years of training to employ skillfully. To do something in physics, you can’t have a knee deep knowledge of general science. You need training in the branches of physics, intimate and strong, as well as thorough understanding of high level mathematics and strong faculties of reason. If you want to switch to pure mathematics, a very similar field, you still need to spend a time studying and repurposing your knowledge of mathematics. The age of the lone mechanic building wonders and the inventor producing elegant designs is dead. Bureaucracy and complexity have doomed it. Every project in the modern day that produces real innovation involves a massive team of researchers, testers, theorists, PR, etc. It is incredibly rare and equally amazing when an exception appears to this rule, such as Cave Story (a pretty brilliant indie game made by a lone college student a few years back). As such, the Da Vinci Complex is more dangerous than ever, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to operate in multiple fields, and it takes a proper genius to be successful in more than 1 or 2. Which Da Vinci was and why he still managed to do things regardless of the frequent randomization of his focus.
Anyway, that’s the Da Vinci Complex, something with which I have self-diagnosed. I’ll figure it out in the end, but until then, I’ll make sure to waste as much stress as humanly possible on that dilemma.