The Tortoise and the Hare

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Running at Internet time can sometimes be disadvantageous. – Ed

We just don’t overclock processors. In many ways, we overclock ourselves.

With few exceptions, our clocks run much faster than the rest of the world.

2002 is going to be a slow year computing-wise. “Slow” to us means we’re only going to see the field advance about 20-30% until towards the end of the year.

There aren’t many fields where roughly half of what-you-need-to-know-on-the-cutting-edge-today get obsoleted in a year. Every year.

Sure, it’s exciting and interesting. By the standards of the rest of the world, though, it’s not normal, it looks scary, and is often regarded as being dangerous.

The world works at a much slower pace. Sometimes, a much, much slower pace, and that’s something we need to remember. Our fast pace can be used against us.

We’re used to matters getting resolved so quickly, when they don’t, we get flustered. Or lose interest. Or drift off.

The Internet encourages short attention spans because that’s all we need most of the time. Issues fly in and fly out. We don’t think; we react.

Like it or not, legal and political issues will affect this cyberworld more and more as time goes on. To the overclocked people living here, it seems like forever, but to the underclocked rest of the world, it’s just starting to get their attention.

Take things like MP3s. It took a couple years before it got serious outside attention. To us, forever. To them, hardly any time at all.

In the legal and political realms, events usually take years to develop, then move. That’s just in a single country. Talk about an international issue like regulating the worldwide Internet, and you’re talking decades, and probably quite a few of them.

In these areas, it’s a modern day tortoise and hare race, and we’re the hare.

Who is the tortoise? It could be a place like the RIAA, slowly, patiently laying the groundwork to get what they want. They won’t lose patience. They won’t lose interest in a couple days or a week. They’ll be at it day-by-day, not just during critical points. Finally, at some point, it will move (relatively) quickly, and those who oppose them are faced with pretty much a done deal.

Just how do you think something like the DMCA got passed?

It could be a place like the Best Buy (or any other reseller) legal staff. They don’t need constant stimulation or news to stay on top of the issue. They may well be counting on lack of patience or instant gratification or attention span to win the day for them.

Like the tortoise, this is how the underclocked can beat the overclocked.

Think about it.

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