Tactical Timing

Part of reducing the cost, effort or load of an action is developing a sense of timing. Aside from literal experience in a specific field, timing practice is all around us, from sliding through a door before it closes, to catching the rhythm of a string of stop lights. A very annoying example is the person who takes pleasure in cutting off every sentence you try to say. Timing ties in with SA (situation awareness) in using the low-demand part of a situational cycle to update information. People will develop habits to avoid having to pay attention, such as heading for the shoulder on a road no matter why traffic has slowed down. Investing in a habit of scanning at a greater radius (say, of 2-3 cars ahead and behind) pays off in giving time to make an intelligent decision instead of trusting a default (often over-) reaction.

Models and model systems are all the rage right now, especially if they can have a cool acronym and be marketed. But eternal, useful ones are all around us in “public domain”. Driving in traffic (hang up and LEARN something) has plentiful variety of situation and pacing.

Learning to notice what level of cycle is critical to our interaction is valuable. In music terms, we might be most interested in the pacing per beat, per measure or per coda. Every bum-bum-bum might be too fast to even track, while biddy-bum, biddy-bum might be workable. Or we might note that the Other cycles back to a favorite tactic every third, fifth or eighth time around, or presents a signature lead-in that tells us when it’s coming. It’s all about the Δt.

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