[FRIAM] Friday AM

Steve Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Fri Dec 30 19:36:36 EST 2022

On 12/30/22 1:32 PM, glen wrote:
> Interesting tangent. As always, I only post when I feel like I have 
> something to disagree with (or fine-tune in a way that might seem 
> contrarian). I feel like the closing on whim or choosing hours that 
> may be inconvenient for a population is how we *should* do business. 
> There's nothing more inhuman/inhumane than, say, shopping at Safeway 
> at 2am because you *know* a multinational corporation is trying to 
> squeeze that last blood from the market (and its employees).
> Convenience is one face of the Janus. Another is the optimized self 
> ... e.g. tracking your footsteps to make sure you get them all in for 
> the day ... or counting calories ... or Amazon-style, Taylorist 
> "quantified self". *In*convenience is life. Attempts to avoid it are 
> akin to suicide. And inconvenience is also pro-social. There's nothing 
> more inconvenient than providing social support for a fellow human, 
> sick puppy, or diseased ecosystem.
> So, when I see a "gone fishing" sign on a local business, I get a bit 
> of a dopamine kick. Good for you, dude.

It might also be worth noting that this "renormalization" leaves room 
for excellence...  surely there will be *some* small businesses and 
individuals who will excel by striving to expand or refine their "value 

I can see silver linings throughout but I  think there will be "ringing" 
in many dimensions. As for me, I am happy with my new "lowered 
expectations" and even, as you suggest, can applaud a "gone fishing" 

My own interests in optimization tend toward expanding circles of 
context... in my youth (at least into my 30s) the circle was rarely much 
larger than my self, my nuclear family, my neighborhood, my workplace.   
Nowadays it has become dizzyingly large and too often abstract... 
probably to the point of absurdity and ineffectuality.

  It was safer and perhaps saner when I limited my optimization 
ideations to people and places I interacted with daily...   I also 
discovered "satisficing" vs "optimising"  in my 30s which was a 
significant relief, and allowed more degrees of freedom in my 
optimization/satisficing intentions/habits.

"Good enough for who it's for" is a much better mantra, IMO than the 
usual "... for government work".

> On 12/30/22 12:16, Steve Smith wrote:
>>> OPT Cafe is closed as well. What a way to run a business this is 
>>> peak Family dining out Time.
>> A new phase of customer service seems to have emerged after COVID.   
>> I have ambiguous feelings about it.   Previously I was a little 
>> offended by various examples of businesses not catering well at all 
>> to their customer's needs/desires/convenience.   Los Alamos as a 
>> community is somewhat famous for this...  the "captive audience" and 
>> the myriad flexibilities of LANL employees lead to things like retail 
>> businesses only open from 9-5PM M-F such that anyone who can't get 
>> away from work at a whim simply not being able to do business 
>> there... or restaurants that are satisfied with a short M-F lunch 
>> hour and/or closing early (by urban standards) and leaving business 
>> on the table.
>> With the hammering that service personnel took with COVID (in spite 
>> of the myriad relief programs) as well as small-business owners 
>> (which can include franchise operators) I have been pretty 
>> sympathetic with businesses unable to return to the (sometimes 
>> generous) hours and services they kept before COVID.    I would 
>> certainly *like* to see the rich range of available services out 
>> there return to "normal" but also appreciate that the most vulnerable 
>> folks aren't out there 'hurting themselves' to meet my whims.
>> The implications of spiking minimum wages and prices and corporate 
>> usury, disaster profiteering are all over the place for me... I think 
>> there will be a lot more "ringing in the system" left to be 
>> experienced in the aftermath of COVID.

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