1 is a negative number

Khatzumoto today repeats the dictums that “1 is infinitely larger than 0” and “just do one”.

These are good and valid points, and frequently helpful, especially for the chronically lazy (yr.hmbl.srvt. raises his hand) who often have issues leaving the parking lot of sloth.

However: it can be a blinkered view in a way because 1 is not really infinitely greater than zero, when you set about to learn a language.  And if you’ve ever forgotten a word, or kanji, or anything else; you will understand this.

1 is, in fact, infinitely and tragically less than zero.  You are on a moving sidewalk going against the flow.  Your brain is only too happy to discard items that haven’t been accessed in too long.  You must make more progress than regress.

Now if you view “0” as that quantity of exposure (let’s leave out the nasty “w” or “s” words for now) that will keep you stationary with respect to the surroundings, that will move you precisely in the opposite vector to that moving sidewalk, then yes, 1 is all you need for progress.  And 1 and 1 and 1 is more progress.

So what speed is that sidewalk going exactly?  Do you feel lucky enough to know?  And anyway don’t you want to get to that goal faster – understanding that amazing movie in six months is better than a year, right?

Then why not add up 1 on top of 1 on top of 1 until you get a stupendously large number and have spent your day in, well,

one could even say all Japanese, all the time …

in fact

this is English, why are you even reading this


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