A Quest for Adequacy

A quest for adequacy, or the slow natural death of obsessions.

I saw a Penny Arcade comic recently that spoke to me. This is who I used to be as well. Obsessive about minute details around my phone or my computer, looking to optimize value for money for any new purchase, tuning the device all the time.

These days, I feel most computers and phones are more than adequate for my needs, and the best configuration is one that maintains itself. This shift in perceptions is less about lowering my standards and more about accepting that the older ones might have been a trifle unrealistic in the first place, and pursuing them doesn’t bring me the kid of joy it did before.

It’s not a question of time - I still game for instance. Or money - I might earn more, but I am still as frugal. I feel its more that aging has reduced that edge I had that drove this obsession and others.

When I stopped to think about it, the phrase mellowing with age came to mind. This is more than mellowing though; looking at it one way, its a return to balance, a better judgement of the worth of one’s time. Looking at it a different way, its an unwillingness to push, a slowing down, an acceptance of adequacy. If I’m not an outlier, and I don’t think I am, it’s no wonder startups and armies prefer younger people.

Back to the original topic - a close friend pinged me for advice on his build. As much as I pushed myself into working out optimal combinations of CPU, motherboard, card, etc., I found myself going back to pre-built options that seemed to have distilled all of that diversity into perfectly adequate ensembles. And like Tycho in the comic, I didn’t feel the least bothered by it.

Image Courtesy Andrew Kitchen on Unsplash