Couldn’t finish it. I wanted there to be something here, but seemed like a self-justification for sloppy work and setting up neat-freak strawmen than an investigation into the nuances of mess+creativity.

As one strawman, trying to quote this as obviously overly OCD behaviour “(Sample advice from Real Simple: Assign each member of your family a towel color.)” seems to ignore the seemingly obvious (to me, who isn’t even particularly domestic) that this kind of “nudge” has the potential to drastically reduce washing load in a family. Instead we just get throwaway snark.

Another example: “Inconsistency often pays off for competitive runners, many of whom achieve maximum aerobic efficiency by adopting a highly varied conditioning regimen, continually altering the speed, length, difficulty, and frequency of their running routines.”

While this is strictly true, competitive runners have some of the most demanding routines, patterns, and discipline of anyone. Incorporating disorder within order seems like an interesting topic, but instead all we get is the previous quoted sentence implying that we can just run however we feel like and become a gold medalist.

Cover image for A Perfect Mess