Helsinki Bus Station Theory

“…the secret to a creatively fulfilling career lies in understanding the operations of Helsinki’s main bus station…There are two dozen platforms, Minkkinen explains, from each of which several different bus lines depart. Thereafter, for a kilometre or more, all the lines leaving from any one platform take the same route out of the city, making identical stops. “Each bus stop represents one year in the life of a photographer,” Minkkinen says. You pick a career direction…Three stops later, you’ve got a nascent body of work…[but because it is nascent it will be similar to someone else’s body of work, and you’ll be tempted to go back to the main station and set out in a new direction. Three years later, it happens again.]…’This goes on all your creative life: always showing new work, always being compared to others.’ What’s the answer? ‘It’s simple. Stay on the bus. Stay on the fucking bus.'”

—Oliver Burkeman, “This column will change your life: Helsinki Bus Station Theory.” The Guardian. September 23, 2013.

4 thoughts on “Helsinki Bus Station Theory

  1. Is this akin to the 10.000 hours to mastery theory? I like the Helsinki theme though, is the nicest city.

    1. Related, I think. For example, if you wanted to learn a martial art and changed to a new style every year, you probably wouldn’t learn any style very well, no matter how many hours you spent on it. However, this is probably where I should point out that the 10,000 hour rule might be suspect:

      “A new meta-analysis, however, indicates that the 10,000 hour rule simply does not exist. As Brain’s Idea reports, authors of the new study undertook the largest literature survey on this subject to date, compiling the results of 88 scientific articles representing data from some 11,000 research participants. Practice, they found, on average explains just 12 percent of skill mastery and subsequent success. “In other words the 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense,” Brain’s Idea writes. “Stop believing in it. Sure, practice is important. But other factors (age? intelligence? talent?) appear to play a bigger role.”

  2. So…..”Get your Own Show.” and “Stay on the Fucking Bus” new words to live by?:)

    Started watching ‘Undone’ last night…. still pondering this morning.

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