I hate logistics.
It’s slowly dawned on me that my reaction to logistics has grown from distaste to something more like moral outrage. Logistics, or more specifically the need for logistics, is kind of the ultimate threat.
Seemingly, no matter how good we are, or how clever we are, there will always be a limit on what we can do given our context. We can do without, and we can invent alternatives, and we can make the remainder as efficient as the laws of physics will allow…but there will always be a cost.
The fact that the universe will always demand some amount of payment in return for meeting our needs means that someday we might not be able to pay it. An easy example that illustrates the overall point is that a gamma-ray burst might head for Earth. If we can’t pay the cost that physics demands to get out of the way in time we lose everything. We’re relying on the Martingale System and hoping that we 1) never reach the table limit and 2) never exhaust our bankroll.
In the many situation that fall short of existential threats, logistics will still inspire my ire. I don’t see why I should have to drive a car that’s extracting a small percentage of the energy in the gas that I had to make a special trip to acquire so that I could obtain the food I need to survive, or at least not be cranky. I know that having the store close enough to walk to, or at least having a train, would require less total logistics. The reason I can’t make more efficient use of the system is that the system isn’t set up to provide the option to make more efficient use of it.
I ride an electric motorcycle in large part because it calms the part of me that gets angry about logistics. Every time I go 100 miles for $1, or park in a spare corner, or filter to the front at a stoplight, I give physics the middle finger. It would require even less logistics to just not need personal transportation at all, but at least the contrast between me and the current system is satisfying.
Proving that there’s a lower cost way to do roughly the same thing, or at least a more efficient set of compromises, is hastening the day when we might get so far ahead of the universe’s rent that we don’t have to worry too much about getting wiped out. Maybe someday we’ll even figure out how to eat a free lunch.
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