Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Long Now: monthly dose of 'staying focused'

Signing up for a Long Now membership was worth every cent. The monthly newsletter is priceless: it keeps us focused on 'thinking long' about our own project. Setting up a watchmaking facility in a country with no horological manufacturing history is as planning long term as it gets and we are not talking years or decades- but generations.

This month the focus is on counterbalancing forces which actively work against long term thinking: immediacy, ephemerality, and myopia.

Immediacy is 'the quality of bringing one into direct and instant involvement with something, giving rise to a sense of urgency or excitement'. Of course is nothing wrong with excitement about a project, but the urge to act urgently and make a quick decision could be fatal.

Ephemerality is 'the property of lasting for a very short time; an impermanence that suggests the inevitability of ending or dying'. Indeed, human life is short;  'Man, born of a woman, lives but a few days, and they are full of trouble' proclaimed the prophet. But when Hans Wilsdorf started Rolex with borrowed money in his tiny office, he wasn't worried much about mortality. Neither did the builders of the pyramids or those who built the Harbour bridge.

Myopia is a vision condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. While we are yet to lay down the first brick in Mittagong, I can clearly see the finished building, every room, every window, bench, tools and watchmakers and machinists working together making Australian watches. Strangely to some, this future reality is as real today as it will be in years to come.                          

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