The Milo Criterion

by Mike Sententia on September 26, 2011

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This post is about teaching direct magick. If that’s not your cup of tea, feel free to skip it. There’s no technical magick content.

I read post today on the Milo Criterion. Here’s the key section:

There is a saying that goes back to Milo of Crotonlift a calf everyday and when you grow up, you can lift a cow. The story goes that Milo, a famous wrestler in ancient Greece, gained his immense strength by lifting a newborn calf one day when he was a boy, and then lifting it every day as it grew. In a few years, he was able to lift the grown cow. The calf grew into a cow at about the rate that Milo grew into a man. A rather freakish man apparently, since grown cows can weigh over 1000 lb. The point is, the calf grew old along with the boy.

I call it the Milo Criterion: products must mature no faster than the rate at which users can adapt.

That post is about business, web startups, and the like. (That’s my other life). But it applies to spreading any new idea: You can’t add complexity faster than your readers can absorb it (and play with it).

Of course, the idea in your head can grow as fast as you want. And it should. You’ll develop your own capabilities faster, and also write better if you know where you’re going and what pitfalls readers need to avoid.

But you can’t write about the idea faster than readers can absorb it.

That’s simple in a book: You start on page 1 and build from there. Less so in a blog. Right now, I’m thinking of doing a series, starting at “magick is a ritual, where you send your intent out and let it manifest,” and building up to the core ideas of direct magick.

What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

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