Today I found myself in the kitchen, near the fridge with the wine (it’s an excellent Chardonnay from Sonoma, thanks XYZ Beverages in Tybee Island, you exceed my expectations although you don’t have a website to link to). My empty glass was out on the screened porch.
Do I go outside for the glass? Or take the wine bottle to the glass, and then return it to the fridge?
These are not the only options. I snag another wineglass from the cupboard, fill it with wine, and take that out to the porch.
Now I have two dirty wineglasses, but who cares? The dishwasher washes them all at the same rate.
This is garbage collection in action. The dishwasher acts as a garbage collector for dirty dishes. It adds the capability of “do not worry about how many dishes you dirty. They will all be cleaned for the same fixed cost that you have already incurred.”
This removes one consideration that I need to think about in my actions. I’m free to optimize for my higher-level objectives (“be on the porch, with wine in a glass”) while ignoring the accumulation of resources (dirty wineglasses). It takes some adjustment to benefit from this condition.
It takes some adjustment in a brain to move from scarcity (“Dishes are a resource with a cost”) to abundance (“dirty dishes meh, not a problem anymore”). Once adjusted, the options opened to me are widened, in a way that a clearly optimal path is opened.
Now pardon me while I finish this delicious glass of wine and fetch another, from the nice cold bottle still in the fridge.