A most unfortunate event happened today. It put an end to all the sunlight day-light saving time bought me. For a second it felt like all was lost. I was doing something that I did often. In fact, I did it just that morning. It’s one of those rote functions that can almost be automated. And I had tried, too. A few months ago I wrote some lines of code that would shed 10 minutes from this process. At times, tasks like these can be annoying. Others, it can be liberating. The joys of doing something your mind is so acclimated to that it requires no brainpower whatsoever.
But there is a reason why this process is not given to some computer to handle. It is because, in the rare instance, it is important to be alert. And, unfortunately, I was not. In the writings of Gladwell and Cialdini, special place is given to the shortcuts the mind takes. To process all the information in the world, the mind makes assumptions of familiar things so that it can devote more time to the unfamiliar. Cialdini gives an example of the line-skipper who does better because she uses the word “because”. Gladwell fills his entire book, Blink, with these stories.
Mine is a slightly less interesting story and so I will not get into the details. All I do know is that with this experience, this particular process will no longer be in realm of familiarity. I would like to end by expressing to my friends my gratitude for their support through this matter.