Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Saving Lives, Ten Seconds At A Time


Photo courtesy Flickr

Walter Isaacson describes Steve Jobs’ argument against a slow-loading program as being based on the value of human life. Faced with objections to speeding up a process, Jobs did some fast math and pointed out that extra seconds spread across millions of users added up to wasted lifetimes.

Not long ago I put my heart in my mouth and lopped off a good fifteen inches of cord from an electric toothbrush charger. The genius inventory manager at my friendly local Righteous Value hardware store sold me a quick-fit replacement plug that directs the cord parallel to the wall, an elegant space-saving maneuver. A friend muscled the plug's latch  into place, and I have already saved a full minute’s wrestling with the charger’s cranky, ill-designed cord-keeper. Chopping the cord also saved several cubic inches of precious bathroom storage and most importantly, next winter's manual pain and aggravation of  wrangling plastic-coated wire in a chilly storage area. 

A brief meditation on the wisdom of vandalizing a ninety dollar toothbrush convinced me that saving time would be worth the risk. 
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