John Livingston

Priority Inversion and Thrashing

Today’s article was inspired by my Pastor who knows far more about computers and IT than I could ever hope to learn. He told a story in a sermon about the algorithms that were deployed on The Mars Rover in 1997 that resulted in the delayed execution of a priority task that resulted in a near shutdown of some of the most important functions on The Rover.

“In computer sciencepriority inversion is a scenario in scheduling in which a high-priority task is indirectly superseded by a lower-priority task effectively inverting the assigned priorities of the tasks. This violates the priority model that high-priority tasks can only be prevented from running by higher-priority tasks. Inversion occurs when there is a resource contention with a low-priority task that is then preempted by a medium-priority task.” — Wikipedia

In essence something less important is getting in the way of something more important — sound familiar. We struggle with this every day in every aspect of our lives — both temporally and spiritually.

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a computer or our minds when an ever-increasing amount of processing power is used to decide what task to do next, or what problem to solve next, a limit is reached and we soon approach making no progress at all — in computer lingo this is apparently called “Thrashing”. My father often advised me to “set priorities” or “don’t sweat the small stuff”, or “keep your eye on the ball”. Needless to say, I have done more than my share of “thrashing” in my life.

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“See clearly” before doing a task was an admonition I heard frequently from two important mentors in my life — one a football coach and the other an organic-biochemist. Before running a play or performing an experiment see in your mind the process — cadence — and order of the task(s). This purposeful visualization involves seeing what is possible and recognizing what is not possible and not wasting time doing the impossible. It also requires setting a limit on what the task can accomplish — trying to do too much or trying to do what someone else is supposed to do leads to failure of the team running the play or doing the experiment — “do your job first”. FOCUS.

I have said before that I have the utmost respect for our politicians and public servants that devote much of their lives to serving others. I feel the same way about other “servants” of the public — teachers, ministers, first responders and those in the military and medical professions. But in every instance the covenant between those serving and those being served should be well defined and “limited”. Those serving in a legislative body at all levels of government from municipalities to the US Congress take an oath or affirm their fidelity to The US and when appropriate State Constitutions. When asking for our votes they seek and establish a covenant between themselves and the citizens they represent. There should be no ambiguity about who they serve. They don’t serve the government bureaucrats and regulators who enforce their laws and policies. They don’t serve “stake holder” lobbyists and corporate interests. They serve citizens — period.

I had several Garden City elected officials tell me that their support for a development was because they needed more resources and a larger tax base for future city services! Growing government should never take the place of “serving citizens” — constituents who supported and elected them. Can we all say together “Priority inversion(?)!

Officials working in the legislative and executive branches of our State government should first serve the needs of citizens. Not teachers’ unions or large hospital system non-profits with 20% margins that receive fungible transfer payments via JFAC and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW), and then pay their executives’ salaries in the millions of dollars and make Medicaid patients wait many months for routine appointments and surgeries. Remember “Access — quality — care” and what about decreasing costs — to taxpayers and to individuals and businesses that use commercial insurance? — Priority Inversion

What ever happened to grocery tax relief? Property tax relief? Audits for (DHW) and Idaho Health Information Exchange (lost $90million)? Legislators brag that they can “only nibble around the edges” of these big problems. Maybe the reason is because they are eating too much at the Arid Club lobbyist sponsored lunches — I hear the “tossed mixed rainbow salad” is preferred by many of our legislators, especially those who are into Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) — Priority Inversion

At the Federal level, our government has one main function — protect citizens. Those serving take an oath or affirm to do so. Are they protecting our border and making sure our military is operationally ready? Recruitments are at many years low and so is operational readiness. Only in the fourth year of his term has Mr. Biden increased defense spending — the other three he decreased spending. And what about the spending of NGOs that are providing the logistical support for the mass migration of immigrants before they even reach the USA? Our government couldn’t provide for safe houses, medical care, and support a transportation network, but they can fund these processes via NGOs. Through these profits, non-profits, and NGOs our government is funding the migration — and few citizens know it. Our schools, hospitals, and city services are crumbling under the stress of programs that “didn’t see clearly” before they were started — Priority Inversion

Governance through the implied social contract is simple. The outline for governance can be found in our Federal and State Constitutions. Our elected officials take an oath to God or affirm their allegiance to the process. If they lose sight of their oaths or affirmations or choose to serve government bureaucrats or agencies, or entities in the private or non-profit sector instead of serving the people, they aren’t doing their jobs. They are in fact participating in — Priority Inversion.

And that my friends are why in my opinion there is so much THRASHING going on today in the halls of government at all levels.

“Steady Even Pressure”

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4 replies on “Priority Inversion and Thrashing”

“In computer science, priority inversion is a scenario in scheduling in which a high-priority task is indirectly superseded by a lower-priority task effectively inverting the assigned priorities of the tasks.” and, in some instances, even subverting the priority task entirely!

WHAT A GREAT EXPLANATION regarding the promotion of the biblically seditious Constitution as the law of the land, almost completely subverting the only solution for ending America’s suicidal trek to the precipice of moral depravity and destruction – PRIORITY AVERSION AT ITS WORST!

Today’s constitutionalists are well meaning people, but then so was the Apostle Paul when, prior to his conversion, he was persecuting and even assisting in murdering Christians.

“…Every problem America faces today can be traced back to the fact that the framers failed to expressly establish a government upon Yahweh’s immutable morality as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments. (Would in utero infanticide and sodomy be tolerated, let alone financed by the government, if Yahweh’s perfect law and altogether righteous judgments were the law of the land?

“Would Islam be a looming threat to our peace and security if the First Amendment had been replaced with the First Commandment? Would Americans be in nearly as much debt if usury had been outlawed as a form of theft? Would crime be as rampant if “cruel and unusual punishment” had not been outlawed and criminals were instead punished with Yahweh’s altogether righteous judgments? Would we be on the fiscal cliff if we were taxed with a flat increase tax rather than a graduated income tax?)…

“On February 27, 2009, James Dobson conceded that we have lost the culture wars. This is the consequence of Christians having spent the last two centuries lopping at the rotten branches of our culture’s corrupt tree while watering and fertilizing its roots.

‘There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.’ (Henry David Thoreau)

“We should lop away at the tree’s corrupt branches (infanticide, sodomy, the economy, etc.). However, until the root of these problems is Biblically addressed, we will never shut down the infanticide mills, we will never defeat the sodomites, and we will never fix the economy. In short, we will never win the culture wars. This issue is more than important for anyone concerned about God, our nation, and the future of our posterity, it’s the cutting- edge issue of our day….”

For more, see our Featured Article “Five Reasons the Constitution is Our Cutting-Edge Issue” at top of our home page at

Find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the sidebar and receive a free copy of the 85-page “Primer” of “BL vs. USC.”

Thanks Ted,

Theocratic coercion no longer applies in the world of The New Covenant. “Free will” is the underlying moral predicate for liberty. Theocracy has never worked. Our Founding Fathers made this coneection in both the Declaration and our Constitution.

“If we choose to be led by the lord,
or ruled by the loudest tongue…
If it be better to die by the sword,
or swifter to die by the vote.

These are matters of high concern,
and they won’t die in the grave,
for a whole state we all have learned,
leads only to holy slaves.” JL via RK

Government is a pyramid scheme. It pretends to exist for the benefit of the people, but as with any pyramid scheme it is a scam.
It is not going to stop until the people realize that they are being scammed by parasites.
The bottom line is the bottom line. Profits above people.

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