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efficient industrial instinct

Nearly always, we take the shortest route. It doesn't matter where we're going. We don't even need to be consciously steering. Our subconscious, based on what it knows, will steer us down what it believes to be the quickest path.

If you stand up and walk to the kitchen, or you cycle to the office, or stagger up to the bar, or you approach someone you wish to talk to from across the room, or you attempt to escape, your body, piloted by your mind, will try to get there as quickly as possible. You might misjudge this. You might take a wrong turn, or fail to spot a short cut, but the intention is the same. The instinct for efficiency, for saving time, is formidable.

We are drawn directly towards things. We are propelled in straight lines. We dig canals and drill through mountains in order that we might get 'there' more swiftly. There are an almost infinite number of 'theres'. It doesn't matter where they are.

We are exceptionally wasteful creatures, we throw so much of our world away, but our instincts are efficient, primed to conserve energy. We have stubborn, internal compasses which prevent us from wandering in endless, starving circles. We are like ants. We devour our way directly through the forest, carrying the forest with us. We try to keep our motorways as clinical and straight as possible. We clamber over one another and strip dead bodies down to their dust if they happen to fall in our way.

Travelling to work, we rarely take the scenic route. If we do, it has to be a conscious decision. If we want to stop and look at things, to stroll away from the fast track, it has to be a deliberate choice.

If there was ever an animal whose instinct led it to forever take the long route home, it has probably died out by now. Faster beings will have supplanted it, their quiet thirst to get their quickly making sure they're always at the front of the queue. Those who take their time get left behind. A terrible shame, since time is all we have.

Colorado 040324