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The SneakyArt (Insider) Podcast
Never Look at the Numbers

Never Look at the Numbers

Insider #80 with some good reasons to think about Goodhart's Law.

In today’s Insider Podcast, I take a look at Goodhart’s Law, coined to describe monetary policy, and apply it to the life of an artist. No matter how successful or unsuccessful you are at the game of social media, here are some good reasons to never look at the numbers.

Also, find below the link to today’s Insider Hangout.

The SneakyArt (Insider) Post and Podcast are made for paying subscribers of SneakyArt. I offer a behind-the-scenes look at my ongoing projects, discuss future plans, and share my best ideas.

Goodhart’s Law

“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a useful measure.”

I first discussed this with Florida-based architect and artist Jim Richards in Episode 43 of the SneakyArt Podcast (show notes | listen). We spoke about the problems of goal-setting in a creative life, and how numbers can be motivating but deceptive.

Pair this conversation with Episode 29 of the Podcast (show notes | listen) where Amsterdam-based artist and YouTuber Koosje Koene talks about abandoning goals under the first wave of COVID and “only doing what is fun.” Can we achieve big things without goal-setting at all?

I intend to find out. As I explained in my resolutions post - 2023 and Me - this year I am not setting any goals. Instead, I am focusing on my habits. Counting on the cumulative effect of good habits maintained over time, it is my most ambitious year as an artist and writer!

Think about Goodhart’s Law as it applies to the funny business of being a creative on the internet. What is the true worth of a big social media following? Does it help us to focus on the numbers? It can be difficult to know the right path in the fog of misinformation and fuzzy algorithms. And matters are not helped by the deluge of influencers - who have not made a single thing in their lives - babbling about “growth-hacking”.

This is a difficult subject. Even people who agree on the principle may have diverging ideas. I would love to hear from you.

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A Free Library is a Beautiful Thing

I found another free library while walking around Hillcrest Park in Vancouver.

This is my rule - “Every time I see a free library, I leave some art for a stranger to find.”

A postcard of a drawing of boats at False Creek.

I sat down to draw nearby and, when I walked past again, the postcard had been claimed!

This is a unique freedom granted to me by paid subscriptions - to give away my art in little, free libraries all over the world!

Thank you again for your support. Hope you enjoy the episode!

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The SneakyArt Post
The SneakyArt (Insider) Podcast
Best ideas from a journey of self-education. For Insider ears only.