A novel by Spider Robinson, this tale concerns a time-traveler sent into the past on a mysterious mission, and whose plans are nearly undone by the fact that the first person she sees is a science fiction reader and thus immediately deduces what she is. Aside from being nicely recursive, it ties into one of Robinson's most famous works, Mindkiller... which could be looked at as both a curse and a blessing. It makes for a good extension of that posited in Mindkiller, but comes off as really not needed for the story, rather, it smells of a thrown-in plot point.

Regardless, it is an enjoyable enough sf read, though it is not his best work.

Time pressure is the need to act in a quick fashion and all of the accompanying mental baggage that implies. If you are hurried and trying to accomplish a task or make a decision in less time than you would consider ideal then you are under time pressure. Time pressure can be real, perceived, or both and can issue from both internal and external factors. As a concept it's applicable anywhere but it most often comes up in the realms of decision making, sales, business, psychology and their collective intersections.

Time pressure has a negative connotation in most circumstances since it implies rushed action and potentially compromised judgement. Battlefield commanders and Black Friday shoppers rarely have the luxury of long deliberation. Limited time sales are arguably predicated on the threat of missing out as much as on reduced prices. They are at least win-win in principle. By contrast, many phishing scams that I've encountered started with the claim that an account of mine is being locked within some short time frame. This has consistently manage to give me a short lived blip of panic. It has never gotten me to click the link in the email.

For all of its associated ills, time pressure can cure analysis paralysis and overcome procrastination. The negative associations come from the fact that we only bother to talk about time pressure when it becomes a problem. The most important thing about time pressure is to understand your relationship to it. Do you panic or focus? When do you start to feel the pressure? Is it crushing or merely annoying? Time pressure can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on a number of factors in yourself and your circumstances.


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