Overclocked

I am installing patches on B’s computer.

More accurately speaking, I’m writing for you, because I’m bored with my dozens of solitaire hands (I consistently win or fail in three minutes or less)…
since “installing things” is primarily patient oversight. I’m not kidding; I’ve seen far too many people doom themselves to additional frustration by rapidly clicking the mouse while the computer is tk-tk-tking in rumination (disk activity). The computer has to handle each and every command in the order it came in, people. Even if it’s busy. Like with the Flash the Sloth at Zootopia’s DMV, you might as well wait for it to be ready for you.

Back when I did this for a living, I managed my impatience with endless hands of solitaire. The computer kind, because I don’t like to spend time on shuffling and dealing. Reminiscing about ye olden days of solitaire drew my brain back to a thought I had yesterday:

the name for what’s been ailing US society since the turn of the century is overclocking.

Overclocking is configuration of computer hardware components to operate faster than certified by the original manufacturer[…]. [S]emiconductor devices operated at a higher frequencies and voltages generate additional heat, so most overclocking attempts increase power consumption and heat. An overclocked device may be unreliable or fail completely if the additional heat load is not removed or power delivery components cannot meet increased power demands. —Wikipedia, accessed 13 Mar 2017

It’s poetically tidy that something that chips do is the best analogy for what happens to humans in an always-on, pocket-computer environment. It came to mind yesterday while I was walking; for whatever reason, I was mulling over the organizational culture at the place where I did my executive contract. Their president is a former semiconductor executive, and she brought the tech-world mindset with her: we can just work faster. All the time. Because we need more faster.

I can’t. Just work faster, that is. Electrically speaking I feel as if I lack a grounding wire, to drain charge harmlessly out of my system. It’s part of my sprinting stamina, I think—I can work fast, and then I need to do something else.

I had forgotten how much “something else” there was in my prior tech life…like waiting around while installing software.

I think that’s part of why I ultimately didn’t click with the organization I contracted with. Not only don’t I overclock from a practical perspective, I oppose overclocking on principle. What I learned in Cadence Project Management class about research into work hours and effectiveness dating back to the 1950s reinforced my visceral antagonism… more than 40 working hours a week is bad for everyone.

 

 

 

Two reboots, a webinar (using a different computer!), and three press releases later, I think it’s safe to say today is more of an underclocked day. When I figure out how to land in the middle, y’all’ll be the first to know-!

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