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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Slow And Steady

There are two ways to get things done. Madman style and on a geologic time scale.

Madman style is what most humans are into. You have to get something done. Time is money! So hurry up! Work faster, so that you can do more work! YOU! You are not being productive enough! So do something. It does not matter what, just so long as you are doing SOMETHING. Even if you are making things worse that is something.

So buildings are constructed, on a schedule. Take too long and it costs more, as there are penalties and stuff. Roads are built or resurfaced, at what seems like a snail pace but in reality it is all done fairly quickly. Pretty much EVERYTHING done on normal human scales is done under the "madman style" pace.

On the geologic time scale, things take a very long time. Unbelievably long time scales. Think hundreds of millions of years. Billions of years. Or at the very shortest, tens of millions of years. But in these extended periods of slow and steady productivity, entire mountain ranges are created and eroded away. Continents drift about on a sea of magma, shifting position and among climate zones, as well as colliding and/or moving away from other continents.

On these time scales, even the mighty Mount Everest is doomed. One day it will stop getting taller. Then wind, rain, and ice will slowly chip it apart. One day it will be nothing more than a stump of what was once the highest peak in the world. Life forms on the planet at that time (if any) will walk / crawl / swim over it and not even notice anything special.

One day there will be more Hawaiian Islands. One day Antarctica will be a forest again. Right now there is an inconsequential pile of dirt that will one day be the next Mount Everest - maybe even taller. Yellowstone will erupt again. The sun will run out of fuel and swell in size - cooking the Earth and anything left on it. Yes, one day this rock will be vaporized and become part of a planetary nebula. The elements on the planet - the ones we have not already launched off into deep space - will join the other elements cast off by the dying sun and drift in space, maybe becoming part of a new solar system. The leftover core of the sun will slowly cool, becoming dimmer and dimmer - till it shines no more. It will just be a dense, dark, and cool lump of stuff floating in space. Forever falling around the center of the galaxy, but never hitting anything.

On a geologic time scale, humanity is irrelevant. Everything humans have done - everything humans will do - will be undone by geology and the cosmic clock. Nothing we do will amount to anything as far as the universe is concerned.

I think I work best on a geologic time scale. Of course in my lifetime I would get very little - if anything - done. But what little I did would be added to hundreds of millions of years of additional little bits of work - and one day the results would be plain to see.

All the wiring is done on the boat. I have done a little here, a little there. With extended break periods in between the very brief periods of productivity. But now it is done. And done right. Since I was never rushing to finish - there was no reason to take shortcuts. When I encountered a problem I could think about it. For days if need be. I got one thing done at a time.

But now the grunt work is over. The hard part is done. The wires are all run and connected to either a fused positive lead or a common ground.

All that is left is to install the LED red and green side lights. This is easy. And Ill get it done sometime. Sometime. Two bolts is all it takes for each light. And then connect them to power.

The power leads are already wired in and connected to the switch. Simple to finish. I could have done it today.......but why bother. I do not need the boat tomorrow or the next day or even next week. So why rush?

Yes, you can indeed get a lot done by working slowly. Productivity experts are all morons. And long after their bodies have been reduced to dust - Mount Everest will still be growing as the Indian Subcontinent continues to push into the Asian Plate. But these "experts" today would say that the mountain is unproductive, for in their short time on this planet they will look at the mountain and not see any change. No progress. But yet there is progress.

We would all live longer if everything did not have to be a big race to the finish line.



Blogger M@ said...

Nothing in life is static. Makes me feel even more sometimes that I should be moving quicker.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't go by any of those scales. I either go in granny gear or I kick it out of granny gear when the need arises. I can't wait for dogs to evolve to where they can finally climb tree's to get those pesky squirrels

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

M@ - nothing is static. Nothing. Everything is either slowly corroding/eroding, growing, or moving. Or something. It all depends on the time scale you are operating on.

Doozie - By then squirrels will have evolved into the next dominate species and humans will be fossils in natural history museums.

Blogger Fuzz said...

I haven't lost much sleep lately worrying about the sun.

Blogger Payout Polly said...

The poor Cheesemeister is used to doin' everything mad-woman style for that is how she was trained since she was a wee pup. And probably why she has to take calming down pills now. Me, I likes me a good bottle o' rum and a hand of cards to play and I'm happy.


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