When Dashing was an Adjective

And until it is again. Someone reminded me of how many times per day we get into our cars to complete singular errands, multiple trips out and back; performed so quickly, even with great frequency, these trips have an implied efficiency about them – and what our ability to perform them says about us. All the while, we directly refer to these efforts as ‘running’ out. Without unpacking the load of obvious parallels, this is perhaps a semantic point we can leave until later.

But, the fact remains: we are wedded to an ability to make invisible and necessary an extremely wasteful method of performing necessary tasks.

With ‘taking longer’ identified as the real enemy, with a number of very explicit exceptions of course, we set about to shorten everything, supposedly whittling the fat down to essentials. Now we are not just running out quickly, but getting it all done (even if it takes multiple trips), introducing an, again supposed, tertiary efficiency to our moving about. All the while adding to copious amounts of wasted effort, time and brain power, creating unneeded effluents and emissions and depleting the resources much of our running around would be meant, in a more excellent world, to conserve.

Today’s question: will we be able to take any advantage of the many devices and methods we have contrived to save us time before the ability to power, control and organize them runs out*? We are approaching a point of diminishing returns that may begin to appear strikingly similar to what we are actually doing – as this happens, will we lose the ability to make distinctions between the two? If we begin not be able to recognize the certain things that are happening (as we warn ourselves against these, citing worst case scenarios that may already be underway), then what?

*As a clarification, I’m not talking about any end times fainting-couch hysterics, but merely the banal impossibilities inferred by an ill-matching task/skill set like… trying to use technology to fall in love.