Where's my offset?

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.

Where's my offset?

Postby Whatshappening » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:05 am

On a job site you'd hear, what's my offset? Similar questions both referring to something artificial, a mechanism for efficiency and practicality. One of my first moves when starting a new project is to pin the site, for that I need a surveyor.

During our first phone conversation we discuss offset, establishing one for every structure. They come to site prepared, marking the info on every peg they place. The peg gives you cut or fill info as well as offset from grid line, i.e. 3 meters or 3m.

The cut/fill part isn't that important, I can reestablish that in seconds. The offset, however, is a different animal. It's not something I want to be liable for, so I use a legal surveyor. They're insured, I'm not (they become my offset).

Those pegs become so important I'll even set up my own "grid line offset" to as many permanent structures as possible. This way I can check on my surveyors consistency while developing my own cognitive map of the site, always knowing the offsets.

My carpenters will ask, what's my offset? Every time they set a string line they will offset it, so it's out of the way. The method works well, but only if the offset is recognized and the structure is set accordingly. Which brings up an issue, an existential issue.

An issue of existence and the offset. Bringing to mind an example where we offset intentionally. When astronauts spend any time in space they offset for the lack of natural conditions. They do offset work for the absence of gravity.

They exercise so their muscles don't atrophy. They understand when important natural conditions can't be met, they need to compensate, they need to do offset work.

Moreover, recognizing the offset and not confusing it for the real thing, the natural thing, has to be part of the thinking. Athletes have come across this discovery in recent years.

The worlds fastest long distance runners trained without footwear. It's hard to imagine but that is the case. Which leads to the question, what else?

What else do we take for granted not seeing how we are running on the offset and not the real thing, the natural thing? I heard someone say we live in a "UN-inhabitable" society, which seems to resonate. Unnatural, however, seems more accurate. Working 50-70 hrs a week, where's my offset?

Here's my question, where else are we acting unnaturally, what offset is established? If any ...?

Offset
Gary
Last edited by Whatshappening on Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where's my offset?

Postby cousinbasil » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:41 am

Hi Gary

You seem to be using the term offset for both sides of (presumably) the same coin.

In many ways, despite the human's basic needs, so much of the human endeavor is an offset. Think about the example you give of the astronaut compensating for lack of gravity. It seems really easy to say that exploring space is by definition not a natural activity, and if so, the offset becomes a simple necessity, another consideration to get the job done. Yet space exploration is an entirely human endeavor, more so than eating and drinking and fucking. Then it becomes an almost prototypically natural undertaking, and all those offsets more part of the game than the game. Astronauts eat differently, poop differently, even their hair grows less because they travel at velocity.

You are introducing the term in a usefully general way, but one can ask - if the exercise regiment for a space-station crew is beneficial, is it also sufficient? Do humans not usually place the endeavor first, and the offset second? For instance, it is known that long-term exposure to gravity-free environments leads to loss of bone density, for which even rigorous exercise does not compensate.
Working 50-70 hrs a week, where's my offset?
Well, how about your bank account? First, I am not sure I know exactly what you mean by the "offset" which is discussed during your negotiations leading up to a contract. Seems to me construction may be one area where both sides to a contract can have a pretty clear-cut idea of the offset, an actually verifiable meeting of the minds. Disabuse me of this notion if I am incorrect.

We might take instead an ingénue with several unfortunate teeth, intent on being at her best during her debut into society (not merely showing my age, this type of shit still goes on!!) She visits the orthodontist, or the one tooth mechanic recommended by her dentist. What is her offset? She is about to invest in what is supposed to be a more marketable visage. But on what is she basing her offset? Brochures in the guy's office? Poor thing could come out looking like me!

So Gary, if I get you right, we all try to know our offsets because we expect to benefit by them in some way.

The first thing your post made me think of is the fleeting apprehension I have had innumerable times in my life. I am on the road en route to my daily routine---but where could all these other people possibly be going? In this sense, the offset of one's daily life is practically unimaginable, in that it rests unknown and unknowing against everyone else's. Make that unknowable.

The other day, I stopped in a drug store chain to pick up a couple of things. Well, lo and behold, there were no parking spaces. Except, naturally, that handicapped space. My reasoning was this way: every single time I pull into a parking lot, I avoid the handicapped slots. How do I accomplish this? I park somewhere else, which is always further away, regardless of the weather. And when I come out, there is always that same empty handicapped spot. Why? because many places have several of them, and now have included "Pregnant and young mother" spots as well as "on-line order pick up only" spots. But this time I thought, a handicapped person may legally have more of a right to the nearest spaces, but if that space is the only one left, how could he possibly have more of a right to any space than I have? I am thinking my money is just as good, I always cooperate like the homo good citizen I am by nature, and I will only be in the store for five fucking minutes. Well sure enough, I come out in no more than that, and there is this angry guy yelling at me - "Is this your car?!!" I say yes, that's me, and he begins berating me "Don't you know I could write you a ticket for parking there?" So I confess I lost it. I start protesting that there were zero other spaces, and he yells, "You don't have a choice! You could have parked down the street!" So I am there, "Why don't I just fucking walk here from home? Where's the fucking cripple? Who have I inconvenienced? And BTW, this is fucking America - I do have choices! Write the goddamn ticket - I will see you in court!" Not even a cop, but a self-righteous deputized pussy venting some kind of attitude on a guy for patronizing a local establishment.

Bottom line: there is my fucking offset. My $5 bottle of aspirin is going to cost me $200, unless I spend a day in court, and even then they never knock it down more than half.

Hey Gary - the real answer is in your original post here. Can a person even buy an existing home without title insurance? Biggest scam in town, every town - insurance. There's your offset!
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Re: Where's my offset?

Postby Whatshappening » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:30 pm

Hey CB...

Given you're lengthy comment, it's seems I hit a nerve. My direction with the offset has more to do with psycho sociobiology.

"So Gary, if I get you right, we all try to know our offsets because we expect to benefit by them in some way" as well as understanding some of our angst and mental illness.

Regarding 50-70 hrs and bank account, after stuff and comfort it's just an expanding number. However, I consider myself fortunate, the job site is a deeply natural place. Filled with existential benefit.

Benefit
Gary
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Re: Where's my offset?

Postby cousinbasil » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:58 am

It hit a few nerves. Physically, in construction, what is the offset if it can be measured in meters?

When you said "The cut/fill part isn't that important, I can reestablish that in seconds. The offset, however, is a different animal. It's not something I want to be liable for, so I use a legal surveyor. They're insured, I'm not (they become my offset)." you kind of lost me on the actual technical meaning of the term from which you then departed for the psycho-sociobiological interpretation.
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