Portrait of the Artist as a Man
March 7, 2015


Lost Time is lost Subsistence; it is therefore lost Treasure.
- Benjamin Franklin in a contribution to a pamphlet on the Principles of Trade.

The Inbetweener 2010.23The Inbetweener 2010.23

This week was a lesson in moderation and industry (and cleanliness, a little).

I’m writing this between bouts of working remotely. I’ve had an Industrious week. I have a review for a team member over due 4 days (now submitted for review review) and another due at the end of the month. There’s a big deadline at the 26th and we moved the two largest projects for one of my applications in to QA last week. Which is about normal. But a poorly written red flag caused me to put everything aside and shore up a gap analysis other applications have been lagging on so that hen said flag goes to the executives, it isn’t patently false.

So. I’t’s been a busy week. A number of these tasks are the sorts of things that drive me. I enjoy writing a good review, I really enjoy big projects. I enjoy meta-analysis of results from company-wide initiatives.

When I have the time.

When I have to time to fully engage.

This week was an exercise in lost moderation. Too much industry sucks time and energy and what gets me, thinking about tis in context of the type of work that Franklin did, is that there is little direct gain for my efforts. In fact, I ended the day with someone questioning my judgment in an inappropriate way. Franklin, working as a printer, has direct result to show for extra labor. More set type, more printed pages, more bound books, more things to put out into the world.

When you put in extra time in industry, where the output isn’t tangible, that puts extra strain on you. Coming home un-energetic, I did not pic up a broom or (remember) to grab the laundry. I realized this morning that, instead of getting the laundry, I resorted to bachelor tendencies of clothing reuse. Meaning: ew, filthy habits. I feel like I need some sort of percentage graph to indicate how these things go.

But it’s not mathematical. I’ve had weeks with similar hours, where I was in my office, logging in at night, where I left jazzed about it. It’s the days where I can point to a things and say, Here. Right here is a result. This project is better because I was involved.

I don’t feel that, at least not this week, doing analysis, fixing things others broke. The digital economy lacks the tangible results of extra time spent. And when you have no physical goods to hold in your hand, it’s hard to see where that extra time goes. It’s hard to see why I do what I do with weeks like this.

Moderation acts like an overfill channel which redirects efforts from on thing overflowing into other reserves. It keeps you able to other things.

Like change your shirt.

Wrestling with Franklin

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