I think one of the most odd things about learning is the moment where you know enough to realize how much you don’t know. It’s scary as hell, because of how vulnerable it makes you feel.
Eventually you get to the point where you say “Jesus, it’s just toothpaste,” and you grab the box with the most adjectives printed on its face and get on with your life.
Good design is meant to help other people live well, and if it doesn’t do that for the audience, there’s no point in it existing.
Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige. That's the recipe for getting people to give talks, write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on. It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn't suck, they wouldn't have had to make it prestigious.
Let me let you in on a little secret: if you are hearing about something old, it is almost certainly good. Why? Because nobody wants to talk about shitty old stuff, but lots of people still talk about shitty new stuff, because they are still trying to figure out if it is shitty or not. The past wasn’t better, we just forgot about all the shitty shit.