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October 23, 1999: you wish you were happy, but you're not


Yesterday I counted the steps on the way down. I hit every step as I go down (stretching two steps at a time is too awkward), but I try to walk quickly on the way downward. I counted about 78 steps on the way down--implying I was actually making better time with on the way up. (Actually I've slacked off to about 38-39 steps on the way up, now.)

As a silly company newsletter entry some four-odd years ago, I wrote up a study of how to efficiently cross a parking lot, analyzing the walk-between-cars contraint like light through a material with an infinite index of refraction. I've also probably, on three separate occasions, mentioned that while the fastest route from A to B is normally B to A, I've noticed that most people use a heuristic that causes their paths to be assymetric.

I suppose this makes me seem sort of obsessed with going as fast as possible. I've mentioned before how I'm not an experientialist, but rather a creator. I go fast because I'm trying to maximize my creation time.

This leads me to wonder what other things people might "optimize" for:

Of course, in some sense we're all hedonists--most of us "optimizing" for any of the above metrics are trying to make ourselves as happy as possible--"wasted" transit time takes me away from happy times creating, whereas stopping to smell the roses makes others happy.

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attribution dammit: Bad Attitude Lisa Germano