Friction Direction

Didn’t Have a Choice – Howard

Day 272 Week 40 Q3  Thursday, September 29, 2022

The best way is not always the easiest way. At least it is for creative outliers. It may be relatively easier for them to create than to not create, but the act of creating is more difficult than the act of consuming. What takes less effort? Eating a meal or preparing a meal? Listening to a piece of music or creating a piece of music?  The Friction Direction may not be easy, but the expenditure of creative energy can produce the same heat and sometimes light that friction does, especially when it catches fire. 

Have you ever caught fire? Are you, in fact flammable? Do you burn with desire easily?  No, not only the carnal kind but the ideational kind. Do you become captured by ideas and then rub up against them, this way and that, until you express yourself by re-emitting into the word what impinged upon you earlier? If you do these things, then you are likely a creative outlier, and you already know that the friction direction sometimes leads to combustion. And that combustion releases power into the world, like both fission and fusion, which both produce energy but in different ways. So far, we have only been able to turn one, fission, into nuclear power plants, but the other one, fusion, is how stars like our sun power our local universe.

This is the problem of dealing with large amounts of energy. It is the simultaneous blessing and curse that creative outliers and their friends and families live with on a daily basis. Fission, fusion, and creation are dangerous businesses but without them, all is darkness. The friction direction is also the direction of diminishing returns, you know what I mean. These are the projects where the last 10% requires another 90% of effort and energy. Nerds of all stripes know this. The special professional athletes, musicians, artists, business people, and all others who break barriers, records, and boundaries are all nerds. They are all practitioners of diminishing returns.

It can take a moment for an insight to register upon one’s psyche, and it can then take a lifetime to realize, manifest, and deliver upon the application of that insight.  Fortunately, it can also take a lot less time but it pretty much never takes any time. When investigating those overnight successes, you generally find they too went in the friction direction for an extended period of effort but friction, fortunately, has a less discussed aspect of its nature This is one that is learned by or at least mentioned to all students of physics and mechanical engineering. And it is this; when you are moving, friction decreases compared to when you are starting. 

There are two different coefficients of friction stain and dynamic (or kinetic). Friction is a resisting force that is less when you are moving. By the way, this is not the same thing as inertia which is the property that a body tends to continue in the same state in which it was.  Laziness and hyperactivity both have inertia, stye both tend to stay the same as they were before. Friction, on the other hand, is a dissipative force between two surfaces.

If you are already moving, not being still, inertia says that a body at rest will stay at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion as long as there is no friction.

Say you are writing a book and not at all being lazy, you have broken free of not having started yet, you are a body in motion, but every day there will be forces residing your progress, this is called friction.  And you need to do work to overcome the frictional force. Anyone who does anything has to and has to for a long time. 

Inertia and friction are not the same things.  And this is a longer discussion than there is room for here but is reserved for another day.

The friction direction is harder than the no friction direction, this is why string players put rosin on their bows, to make them resist moving. I just tried bowing a cello with a brand new bow that had no rosin. Guess what, no rosin means no friction, which translates into no sound!