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The Dog Poop Principle
My ex-girlfriend had a neighbor whose dog would poop in her yard.
When we’d come out of the house in the morning to go somewhere, we’d have to avoid stepping on the poop to get to the car.
She’d tiptoe through the grass, very slowly and gingerly, scanning for where all the poop is so she can avoid it.
I’d walk right through the yard, normal speed.
She thought I was being careless.
But I wasn’t — I just had a different strategy:
She was looking for where all the poop was, and then avoiding it.
I was looking for shoe-sized clean spots, and stepping in them.
Sometimes we’re trying to solve a bigger problem than we need to. You can find leverage in a better definition of the problem. And sometimes the most efficient way to avoid a lot of bad things, is to pursue one good thing.
(and I’m super lazy, so I’m always on the lookout for this.)
This is part of why Elon Musk confuses me — if he’s so into climate change and multi-planetary humanity, why isn’t he more interested in the one well-acknowledged breakthrough that could easily solve both?