Sunday, August 31, 2014

Consequences are for later. Procrastination pays off now.

Hard drives are exquisite, fragile platters that store enough information to thoroughly boggle the mind in less space than it takes to store a folded T-shirt.
It would seem reasonable that someone aware that hard drives fail would have all their files backed up.
If that person were to write a newspaper column emphasizing the importance of having a backup plan then any question that their family's files would be backed up would be laughable.
Backups are important, and current backups are even better. If things start running slowly, that's not the time to skip the backups to get things done. That's the time to make sure your backups are complete.
This happened to me, but the story ends well. The photos, videos, and emails are salvaged thanks to a two month old backup and a healthy dose of luck. It brings up a larger question about why we wait to learn things for ourselves, rather than learning from what happened to others.
Most of the time we know better. Do we do better because of it?
Often not. It's widely known that excellent nutrition is associated with health, and fast food isn't. We still go for the fries when we should take the salad.
That extra drink is not a good idea, but the consequences of the morning hangover are too far away to enter your decision making.
Exercise? Not today thanks.
The sunscreen's in the car.
This is a short trip. I'll get gas later.
Coal is a cheap source of electricity.
Consequences are for later. Procrastination, hedonism, indulgence, and abdication of responsibility pays off now.
The thing about later is that it will find you. You can't avoid it. You may be able to delay it for a while, but that hard drive's going to crash. If you knew how they worked that would make you more scared, not less.
Of course, when it's later it may be too late. Solve your problems in advance, and they won't ever become problems.

"You mailed that insurance check, right Gob?" - Michael Bluth, Arrested Development Ep. 2


  1. "It brings up a larger question about why we wait to learn things for ourselves, rather than learning from what happened to others."

    That's easy. As they told us in elementary school, we're all unique and perfect snowflakes, so probably the fries are a bad choice for everyone except me.

    More seriously though, we're just big statistical engines. Experience for some rando: 1 pts towards not doing that. Experience for someone I know well: 10 pts. Experience it myself and cry real tears: 1000 pts. When your "don't do it" points are high enough, you'll stop doing it. I have tried many things to short-circuit this process, and it is VERY DIFFICULT.

    As for thinking long-term, we're naturally and culturally shit at it. The real problem is time (as always). I only have finite time, how do I sort out which problems are problems (statistically) and which are not. How do I know that getting fat was a result of the fries? There are many other factors to consider. In fact, an infinite number.

    Glad to hear your backup was saved. Also, look into BackBlaze.

    Will this experience be enough for you to change your behaviour? I'm excited to see!

  2. I never wanted to worry about backup ever again and now I don't.

    Backups are in the cloud, they're incremental, storage is infinite and they're encrypted. The first sync may take a long time (1-2 months) but will you really have a better solution a month or two from now? After that each update is incremental and pretty quick. If you need to grab a quick file you may have accidentally deleted or even if you just need a file urgently and you're far from your computer and it's off anyways you can download 500mb per day. If you ever need to recover all of your data at once you pay $160 and they mail you a hard drive. Oh and all that is about $5 per month. For $12 per month you can backup 10 computers. If you're super paranoid you can put a remote computer somewhere else and use crashplan's software to backup your computer to that one for free. I've been using it for years and it's the only thing I recommend for backup. The only concern may be if you have download caps. Even if you do I would still use their software to backup to a hard drive as it's better than anything else out there and not prone to human error.

    That's just my two cents. :)