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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stratified Stability

Do you usually do things one at a time... Or do you like to juggle two or more things...? (Serendipity Bible 10th anniversary edition, page 681).

The answer to this question crucially depends on how much time is in "time". For example, "time" can mean the current instance, the current day, this week, or month, or the current year, or the next five years. Clearly the longer the time period, the more essential it is to answer that preference lies in multitasking. However if one is speaking about the current moment, then one can greatly prefer the opportunity to focus on one thing. I derive great pleasure from this sense of focusing – of being lost in thought and action on one issue.

No doubt the greater efficiencies deriving from division of labor in part come from allowing people to focus on one thing at a time. We sometimes complain about division of labor and have some remorse over the loss of Renaissance man. Perhaps we should more rightly exalt in the freedoms that specialization has brought to us. It is unlikely specialization would be so pervasive if it did not bring great satisfactions and pleasures along with it. Genesis, while not giving us definitive scientific answers about creation, certainly got it right on some levels. God broke down creation into seven days (including a day of rest).  He too liked to specialize, to focus, to concentrate on specific chores. Periods of what J. Bronowski called stratified stability (of stasis) is simply another way to introduce specialization and focus into the creation process.

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