Thursday, October 15, 2015

CATW Practice - Minding the Millimeter

Begin by reading the passage below.

Are You Minding the Millimeter?

In any undertaking in life, it is important to mind the millimeter.  What is minding the millimeter?  To put it simply, it is minding (or attending to) the seemingly miniscule components in any type of work.  However, the minor factors add up to (or multiply into) major problems. On the other hand, if you attend to the right small matters, they would multiply into major desirable accomplishments or outcomes.

The importance of minding the millimeter is apparent in the sport of bike racing.  Mark Cavendish (professional cyclist and winner of many stages of major bike races such as the Tour de France and the Tour de Britain) is known to mind every small adjustment on his bike and in his training, down to the millimeter literally.  According to 453 and a Half, "Cavendish is well known for being completely obsessed with every detail in his preparation, paying close attention to everything from his wattage output to adjusting his saddle position a fraction of a millimeter."

Similarly, Phil Jackson (the former basketball coach who had won ten NBA championships) taught his players this importance of not neglecting the details.  He told them that a war is lost on a single nail of a ship.  Apparently, this was programmed into the mind of Michael Jordan, the basketball legend coached by Jackson.

The principle of minding the millimeter also applies to computer programming and software development.  For programmers, leaving out just a minor part of the code may result in major problems, such as the whole application not working at all.  Therefore, they must be mindful of every millimeter.

Does attending to the millimeter lead you for certain to produce the desired outcome?  No, it is not a guarantee, but it significantly improves your chances if you mind the millimeter.  Nothing in life is a guarantee.  An athlete training for the Olympics is not guaranteed to win the gold medal, but it would be foolish of him to neglect the training and neglect the millimeter adjustments just because there is no guarantee.  Unfortunately, people have the foolish logic of not minding the millimeter in other areas of life just because there is no guarantee.   Another reason for this common fallacy is that one minor adjustment in itself does not solve the problem and therefore, why bother.  This logic is flawed.  When you adjust for one millimeter here, a gram there, and another millimeter here, they will synergistically contribute toward the outcome you want.

Adapted from article by Amadeo Constanzo, , September 14, 2015
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Writing Directions
Read the passage above and write an essay responding to the ideas it presents.  In your essay, be sure to summarize the passage in your own words, stating the author’s most important ideas. Develop your essay by identifying one idea in the passage that you feel is especially significant, and explain its significance. Support your claims with evidence or examples drawn from what you have read, learned in school, and/or personally experienced.

Remember to review your essay and make any changes or corrections that will help your reader follow your thinking.  You will have 90 minutes to complete your essay.

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