Forward or backward (OR The pros and cons of digital displays)

A day after I hit 100,000 miles in my car Andrew Sullivan mentions this:

While gasoline is still dispensed at no more than 10 gallons a minute, higher prices mean the mechanical equipment must spin faster to keep up, leading to more problems. When gas was a dollar a gallon, the penny wheel went to a dollar in one minute. But, anything that goes four times faster is going to wear out quicker. This time, prices have risen so high so quickly that the manufacturers of the replacement parts have been unable to keep up.

Why do I mention these two items in tandem? Because my car has a digital odometer, and trying to watch the odometer as much as possible so you can see five 9s turn into a 1 and 5 zeros isn’t nearly as satisfying as watching an mechanical odometer slowly creep up and over.

Still, seeing 100,000 on my odometer is pretty cool.


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