Monday, June 16, 2008

How much do you really need?

I was checking out of a hotel the other day and the lady in line ahead of me was asking the desk-man, "Don't you have a working computer anywhere in the building? I just need to check a few things online..."

Apparently, the hotel's internet connection was fine, but their one and only computer for guests was blue screened and no one knew how to fix it (and I didn't want to touch it).

I had spoken with this lady earlier, had a friendly little conversation with her, so I piped up, "Well, I have three laptops in my backpack if you want to use one..."

Her eyes got wide and I could hear her thinking, "Why do you have *three*?"

Just then I realized I was late to my next appointment and I probably shouldn't have offered. Thankfully, she said she needed to shop for plane tickets and would take a while, so... I wished her luck as the clerk handed her directions to the top three closest places with connectivity.

The funny part -- as I was leaving I was thinking, "Well, actually I have four laptops on my back... I forgot about the small one...."

A more reasonable person would wonder why I needed four at once, all to myself, but if you have ever used, fully used, several at once and felt that rush of complexity, then you'll probably have that same warm appreciation for it.

Simplicity; complexity: they each have a time and a place. Sometimes it's nice to just have the clothes on your back and a weekend camping in the woods; sometimes it's nice to fully immerse yourself in a complex task. It's all good.