Monday, May 7, 2007

What's it Like being in Flatland?

Everything takes longer, but time goes by more quickly. Everyone agrees the day just flies by.

All movement is very deliberate, there is no casual ambling about. Things squeeze in around you and care must be taken not to bump into them, knock them over. Verticality is our primary dimension, so we have to climb ladders to go anywhere, which gets to be an effort and makes you think twice about going. Carrying things is also more difficult up and down ladders, so movements just become more planned out. Dropping things is the most common hazard because they can fall 3 stories INSIDE Flatland. Living at the bottom floor was initially seen as the safer location (for those apprehensive about heights) but turns out to be gravity's ground zero, where all projectiles go, also spilled liquids, dirt, and crumbs.

It takes a while to find the best way to do things, then lobby for everyone adopting that procedure because variations create confusion and misplaced items. Misplaced items are real frustrating time wasters. Things left in unexpected places get nudged into the gravity well and head south.

Another word for these learned behaviors is organization, and that comes naturally to some and only with great effort to others. And much of this great effort is on the part of the organized people "encouraging" the others. And to be fair, the others are often addressing different concerns that are also vital to Flatland.

So, I've come to see that there are (in the way we so often like to do these things) two kinds of Flatlanders: the FreeSpirits and the ControlFreaks. Or maybe its the ants and the grasshoppers.

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