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"Making difficult things easy and easy things impossible" is one of many versions of a phrase used about Linux, differing based on people's allegiance to that operating system. The truth to the joke is that some extremely unusual tasks can be done quickly in Linux by someone who knows what they are doing. Say you needed to filter out incoming TCP packets based on whether they had a non-ASCII character in them, and then automatically look up their country of origin based on IP address, and write a report about it. Someone who knew what they were doing could probably build a firewall that does this out of a 486. Someone could probably do this in a line or two of bash. I just made up this example, of course, but it seems likely enough. But suppose you are trying to eject a CD on a Linux desktop: the trick of how to do this could totally elude someone who didn't understand about what mounting is. Even when true, this statement is a little misleading, because the "easy things" are not impossible for people with the skill level to make difficult things easy.

Be that as it may, I am not here to talk about Linux. I am here to talk about the world. While contemplating the truth of this Linux proverb, I realized how relevant it was to the world we live in. After all, we live in a world where some very difficult things are made very easy. For example, even if you are not into gourmet food or delicacies, there is probably at least one food item that you eat that was picked in a limited range on the other side of the globe, shipped through a series of rapid, information intensive transportation hubs, and ended up in your local retail outlet, probably available to you for a very cheap price. The examples of things that can be accomplished or achieved easily that would seem endlessly difficult is easy enough to bring to mind: things fly around the world in matters of hours and days, unless it is the internet, in which case they fly around in minutes or seconds. So I don't have to go further into the point that difficult things are easy: if you are drinking clean water right now, you already know it. But just as with Linux, the modern world is a place where easy things become impossible. For example, take one of the most natural parts of life, the act of sleeping. How many places are you free to do this natural act? Say you feel a sudden spell of sleepiness, and decide to lie down on the ground, how easy is that to do? How many places can you do that in? For myself, there is several hundred square feet of space in the world where I can do that in the wide, wide world without having to worry about various forms of legal or extralegal harassment. Or, if we were to look at another, less polite set of bodily functions, we can see that performing these easy, necessary tasks becomes almost impossible in the world around us. Again, there is a very limited number of points where these can be accomplished without the aforementioned legal and/or extralegal harassment occurring. Or, pick a seemingly easier task: point at any direction at random, and walk two hundred feet in that direction. Chances are that even walking two hundred feet in most directions can not be accomplished without double aforementioned legal and/or extralegal harassment, or else running into a car (or what worse, having it run into you), or some other unsafe thing. Other simple tasks that are impossible in the world are easy to think of, although perhaps not easy to come to mind as the many ways the world makes things easier.

I am not suggesting, simply based on this, a Marxist seizure of everything, and/or that everyone immediately realize that the Six Worlds are a trap and a lie created by the insane demiurge Ariel. You already know that part. All I am suggesting is that the world is a lot like Linux, and that the price of all the Kava tea I drink isn't just ten dollars a week---it is my inability to walk into the middle of the road to take a nap.

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