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Most talk of "priorities" is nonsense.

Whenever someone chooses to work on, advocate, or contribute money to A, there will it seems always be someone who says, "but what about B?"

Since there are always a variety of good causes, there will always be a host of possible Bs.

If you contributed to A, then A must be your priority then, right?

Well, no, not necessarily. You could make that true by definition, but the definition will end up being rigged and arbitrary. By any useful definition, prioritizing A over B means valuing A more than B, and it simply is NOT the case that by acting to advance A today I prove that I value A more than B.

I use the algebraic language precisely because the particular range of applications is so broad.

Ask yourself: if I am feeding my cat at this moment, does it follow I value my cat more than my dog? or my child? No: each of the latter two may be well feed and content, the cat may be unfed for this day and meowing angrily about it. The distinction isn't one of valuing, or of "prioritizing" in any non-question-begging sense. The question is only one of what had to be the immediate object of my activity.

Likewise: if a writer is working on one project rather than another right now, does the A have a higher priority? Well ... no. Not unless that's just a confusing way of saying it has a deadline tomorrow, whereas the other project has a deadline further off!

So be careful about such wording, okay troupers?


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