Seth Godin’s Newsletter

The paradox of discernment

The typical ten-year-old violinist can’t tell the difference between a cheap instrument and a Guarneri.

A harried traveler simply wolfs down a hamburger, not really worried or aware of its provenance or flavor.

And a bureaucrat buys whatever is cheapest and meets spec, without regard for how well it is designed or the supply chain that created it.

Enthusiasts will work their whole lives to be able to tell the difference in how an orchestra sounds, or how the chocolate is tempered or the simple elegance of thoughtful engineering.

And then, once we do, the incompetent or mediocre stuff isn’t worth much.

In order to appreciate the truly great work, we often end up becoming disappointed with the rest.