我曾经引用过多次的陶器实验的原始出处来自于一本叫做《Art & Fear》的书：
[A] ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
如果看过 James Clear 的《原子习惯》的话，会留意到他也讲过一个类似的故事，不过把主题从陶艺变成了摄影。
其实 James 在书的尾注里对这件事有过备注，2016年他曾通过 email 与Ted Orland，也就是上门提到的那本《Art & Fear》的作者确认过这个故事，原来真实世界的版本的确是来自一个摄影师（Jerry Uelsmann）给他的学生们讲课时的开场白。所以 James Clear 直接用摄影课的版本来代替了陶艺课的版本。