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May 2024

Post image for When Matters as Much as What

Sometimes you really can trade lead for gold. You may have noticed, for example, how much of a time-saver it is to stay a little late to finish a task today that you could finish tomorrow instead. Somehow that last little bit, which would only take a half-hour now, will eat up most of tomorrow morning if you leave it till then. It’s the same work, but somehow its size and complexion change drastically depending on when it gets done.

There should be some metaphysical law that stops you from getting such a good deal, but there isn’t. So you should go for it, and also become a hunter for such deals.

A lot of variables come together to make this sort of transmutation happen. If you’ve been working on something for an hour or two, your system is warmed up in all the right places. You have the relevant information loaded up in your mental RAM, the body is tuned into the relevant actions (flipping between spreadsheets, folding clothes, whatever) and the mind has dropped most irrelevant thoughts. What would take thirty more minutes in this state might take two hours from a cold start tomorrow.

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Post image for We Are All Surrounded by Immense Wealth

Everybody used to be naked, all the time. Naked at birth, naked at death, naked while sitting around with people, naked while meeting strangers, naked while preparing and serving food.

This condition is hard to imagine, because everybody you’ve ever met has been in the habit of wrapping themselves in woven fibres. Coating our bodies with textiles is such a useful thing to do that everybody does it now. But the technology to do that had to be invented, and many people lived their whole lives before that happened.

In fact, many people lived and died before any material goods had been invented — at least anything more complex than sharpened sticks or stones. Biologically, those people were basically the same as us. They still had to stay warm, they had to keep their kids safe, and they had to eat. Just with no stuff.

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