Critical Section

Installing Dimmers

Sunday,  04/29/07  01:09 PM

A long time ago I was working on something - well actually I was supposed to be working on something, I wasn't really - and by way of procrastination, I decided it must be the moment to replace some of the light switches in my house with dimmers.  I won't bore you with the details but you can imagine "merely" replacing light switches with dimmers was non-trivial.  { To give you a flavor for the yak shaving involved, I had to make made a circuit diagram of every switch and plug in my house. }  Many hours later I had a bunch of nice working dimmers and had made zero progress on the thing I was supposed to be doing.


In my team "installing dimmers" has become a neologism for doing something useful which is nevertheless procastination.  You can rationalize doing useful work pretty easily, compared to say watching the Lakers lose, but there is still the guilt; you know you are not doing the highest priority thing.  Still, an amazing amount of work can get done this way.  I've done incredible amounts of useful work by way of procastination from things I didn't want to do (or more to the point, didn't know how to do).


Here I am, it is Sunday afternoon, and I am [metaphorically] installing dimmers.  In fact I have a whole nest of dimmers I'm installing; there is the task-I-should-do, the task-I-did-instead, and the task-I-did-instead-of-the-task-I-did-instead-when-I-got-stuck.  And then there is the task-I-did-instead-of-all-of-them, blogging.  So here we are.

My last blog post was October 15, 2006 ("Ole Votes"), cleanly seven months ago.  That is my biggest gap ever, and followed closely my second biggest gap ever - five months - so it would be defensible to say I really haven't blogged in over a year.  Unbelievable.  I like blogging, well I liked blogging, anyway, but somewhere along the line it became a task to perform instead of a fun thing to do instead of tasks to perform, and so I stopped.  Whether I have started again remains to be seen.

About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?