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Delegating to a Machine: Analogies From a Walk in the Woods

Delegating to a Machine: Analogies From a Walk in the Woods
Delegating to a Machine: Analogies From a Walk in the Woods
Shaunna Mireau
December 14, 2021
Tech

I moved in spring 2021. My husband and I were living an 8-minute drive/17-minute bus ride from downtown Edmonton and we relocated to our ‘farmette’. In Mireau lexicon, a farmette is a 20-acre property perched on the hillside overlooking a rolling valley of fields and boreal forest about 60 minutes west of downtown Edmonton. It is a peaceful place where we build our retirement home. Our farmette has almost everything we need. Decent internet access (usually), energy-efficient buildings that my husband designed, enough bookshelves, a nice view from my office window.

It has everything except sidewalks. City sidewalks that neighbors shovel and sidewalks maintained by the city with those amazing drivable snow blowers. Even a well-plowed and sanded roadway!. On a magical day when hoar frost covers all the naked trees and it is chilly enough to see your breath, but not too cold for a walk, you can enjoy the wonderland of a winter stroll.

While taking a stroll in our woods today I thought about how lovely it is to delegate to a machine. I frequently use the phrase “delegate to our machine” when speaking with Alexsei clients.

On our farmette, my husband plows a walking path using this machine:

green and yellow tractor used to plow snow

Rather than stumbling on the hidden roots and holes under the snow on a path like the first photo below, I have the enjoyment of a more civilized walking experience via the second photo.

footsteps in deep snow creating a path
plowed path through snow

Lazy: Another Word for Efficient

Anyone who has met me may have heard me confess to being lazy. Lazy is another word for efficient of course. I believe any task that has to be repeated is ripe for automating. Any task that can be done with the same or better level of excellence should be done by the lowest effort method. Effort expended should always be intentional and the benefit of that effort should be assured. In other words, if you have a tractor, why use a shovel on the snow. If you have a tractor, why would you make a path with your snow boots?

There is an analogy for Alexsei users in the plowed path. Delegating a legal question to Alexsei means that your question is intentional. An Alexsei user spends their effort on defining the legal question that will plow their research path. After that, Alexsei does the work. Once your Alexsei memo is returned, you have a nicely paved research path that will allow you to be intentional about which branches you wish to follow from there.

I hope your legal research is more like this:

plowed path through snow with trees on both sides

And less like the path this rabbit took:

rabbit tracks in snow

The rabbit may have had some fun but it didn’t seem to go very far or fast and it went through some really deep snow.

May you enjoy your next winter walk!

Delegating to a Machine: Analogies From a Walk in the Woods

Shaunna is Client Relationship Manager - West at Alexsei.