From what I have seen, it seems more like:
PF1: I explore so I can get better at what I want to focus on.
PF2: I explore so that I can keep up with the treadmill.
A cynic might see it as if they can invent problems to justify a ground-up redesign.
I would venture to say that half of the PF2 design team should be intimately familiar with the failures of 4e, given that they were partially responsible for them.
Unfortunately, the Playtest, as published, and as implemented in Doomsday Dawn, does use such a system.
As with Page 42 of the DMG of the fourth edition of the world's oldest roleplaying game, table 10-02 literally calls it out.
Except this time it's clearly more explicit in that player abilities are also tied to it.
There is no strawman here. It actually exists.
It could have something to do with the name.
And the "join the evolution " tagline.
Shamelessly stolen from somewhere...
As with any number-based RPG, having a larger amount of "+1" to your rolls/scores will make you significantly stronger than someone who doesn't, even if it's just one; however, +1 represents all PF2 has to offer via optimization.
Before you can optimize, you must first understand the game. Explaining Pun-Pun, for example, necessitates discussing snippets of rules from eight or more books, and this is certainly an optimized character for Dungeons and Dragons, where characters must deal with game-bending effects and situations too wild to list here. Thus, the thought processes for optimization depend on the game.
Primarily, the only thing you can do to a character is hit point damage and applying temporary inhibitors such as slows, dazes, and stuns, so an optimal character might be concerned about having hit points. Unfortunately, the RAW ('Rules as Written', the only thing an optimizer can use to make judgments) for monster damage is so pathetically low, the healing so jaw-droppingly high, that this isn't much of a consideration.
Similarly, characters primarily, almost exclusively, defeat monsters by dealing hit point damage.
The primary way characters do damage is by attacking (go figure.) And this leads to our fundamental philosophy of optimization in PF2: +1 to hit is everything. PF2 is seemingly an extraordinary narrow game, there's really nothing else that's relevant. All of a character's powers are keyed off scoring hits, with the exception of the powers that are keyed off scoring critical hits, which uses the same modifier, but is much less likely. If you can't hit (or have your enemies fail a saving throw), your powers are worthless.
Someone ignorant of the system might think +1 matters more at low levels than at high, (like it does in Pathfinder and 3.5e) but, PF2 uses a treadmill system. A first level character might have +7 to hit, and will attack monsters with a defense of 18 (i.e., they'll have a 50% chance of hitting). A 20th level character might have a +34 to hit, and this might sound better, but the game is designed to keep characters on a treadmill at all times. A 20th level character will fight monsters with a defense of 45, and so still have a 50% chance of hit.
PF2 has been designed with optimization assumed, nearly all character abilities are based around combat, and combat is balanced around optimal characters. Should a suboptimal character be playing, they will necessarily be underperforming. Dropping from that 60% to-hit (with 10% chance to crit) to a 55% chance to-hit (and 5% chance to crit) is so important that failing to find this +1 (either by putting off enchanting your weapon or raising a stat, or by choosing a suboptimal race) will punish you - and in many cases, will guarantee that you're stuck playing a suboptimal character for the entire campaign.