Bear’s Eye View

Bears have really poor eyesight and one strategy designed to hold them off is to wave your hands furiously so it looks like you’re much bigger than you are. The bear cannot differentiate between your body and the movement of your hands and legs waving, thus giving the impression of much greater stature.
I was thinking about this in the context of quantum mechanical observation, where the most accurate observation must be conducted devoid of noise, lest the observation determine the observed. How might the actions of the observer when trying to perform a task, determine the feasibility or perceived difficulty of a task? In other words, might extraneous activity surrounding the task play a determinate role in the perceived possibility or impossibility? Might this extraneous activity really be the waving arms and legs that make something seem to loom so large, when in fact the actual foe is skinny and scared.
Today I completed two tasks that I’d set out to do over a week ago. There was so much extraneous movement that the tasks took on a level of difficulty not befitting their actual difficulty. One was writing a note and sending some pictures to my parents. The other was writing a note and sending a CD to my cousin. I’d put them on my to-do list maybe 10 days ago, but they kept getting bumped to the next day. Why? Because there was so much extraneous movement around them—where would I get the right envelope, what’s the best deal on writable CD’s, what if they don’t like what I send, etc. I confused the extraneous movement with the actual task. Getting the CD’s was not a big deal. The letters took about 15 minutes each. The photos were already done a week ago and they took maybe 10 minutes to develop. They weren’t a big deal and yet all of the extraneous activity (the figurative arm flailing) made them seem like a big task to the observer (me, AKA the blind bear).
But what if I were to just do the things I set out to do and nothing else? What if I cut out the noise? What if I saw past the waving arms and legs and saw the task in front of me? What if I’m in fact a bear who realized all that is stopping him from his dreams is a skinny guy, who’s more scared than me?

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