An excavator tearing up dirt and rock ton by ton and dumping it into a machine that blasts it with water and shakes it down a sluice box, separating the heavier material across a series of riffles, and the gold flakes eventually being sifted down into a thin layer of synthetic ‘moss’ to be collected later. A scoop of dirt and rock being carefully panned by hand, swirling the water gently to gradually reveal whatever small bits of precious metal are hidden beneath. I could have used any number of metaphors to display the disparity between brute forcing one’s way through as much material as possible, or taking time to handle an individual project with a bit more focus- a shotgun blast versus a precision rifle, fast food versus fine dining, a hammer and sickle, whatever. I’ve been watching Gold Rush: Alaska lately.
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