Once, and the triumph of heuristics

On a friend's suggestion, I just watched the DVD of the film Once.  I really liked it.

It's a musical.  A musical!  But not in a South Pacific kind of way, with big production values and mountains of dollars behind each scene.  Rather, the music is just there, and it is written and performed by the actors.  I found the result incredibly moving and poignant, and meaningful in a way that a slick, over-thought production could never be.  There's such value to be had in taking talented people and letting them do their thing, and taking what they do on the spot and accepting it for what it is.  Not perfect.  Not probably as good as it could have been on paper, but unique and meaningful in a way that would be impossible to replicate any other way.

Artful.  Authentic.  Inspiring.

For me this is important because I'm increasingly wary of the over-intellectualizing of things and processes where talent should in fact reign supreme.  If the results are good, why try and distill out an algorithm?  Heuristics rule, man. 

You know, at the end of the day, most good stuff happens because someone good and talented sat down and worked really hard and kept on trying even as things kept breaking.  Brilliant marketing schemes are the result of hard work.  Innovative business models just happen… by being in beta over and over and pounding away.  Heuristics rule.  And sometimes you just get lucky. 

I'll bet on luck and talent any day.

2 thoughts on “Once, and the triumph of heuristics

  1. I don’t know if you watched the DVD extras, but they made the film even better. Director John Carney used to play bass in the Frames, star Glen Hansard’s excellent band. Hansard write the songs, but the originally chosen actor couldn’t sing them, so Hansard reluctantly took the role. He and Marketa Irglova fell in love during the movie and became a couple after. And it was shot extremely cheaply, outdoors in public under natural light (guerilla-style, without costly permits) and in the homes of friends.

  2. “Beware of geeks bearing formulas”
    Wise words from Warren Buffett. in his letter to shareholders this year. he said :
    “Beware of geeks bearing formulas”
    When referencing some of the financial mess we are in.
    Math cannot predict the actions of humans.
    working on a project now, where all the influence and perceived value add in in systems and process and data evalutation.

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