If you don’t know or remember the expression “death by a thousand cuts”, it refers to an ancient Chinese torture.
Slow slicing [..], also translated as the slow process, the lingering death, or death by a thousand cuts [..], was a form of execution used in China from roughly AD 900 until its abolition in 1905. In this form of execution, the condemned person was killed by using a knife to methodically remove portions of the body over an extended period of time. The term língchí derives from a classical description of ascending a mountain slowly. Lingchi was reserved for crimes viewed as especially severe, such as treason and killing one’s parents. The process involved tying the person to be executed to a wooden frame, usually in a public place. The flesh was then cut from the body in multiple slices in a process that was not specified in detail in Chinese law and therefore most likely varied. In later times, opium was sometimes administered either as an act of mercy or as a way of preventing fainting. The punishment worked on three levels: as a form of public humiliation, as a slow and lingering death, and as a punishment after death.
Then, of course, there is a modern day office variant – “death by a thousand papercuts”, which I won’t go into any detail – you can get the idea.
Well, today I discovered yet another, even more modern variation of that – death by a thousand mouse clicks. And even if you’ve heard that before in regards to a bad user interface, there is another meaning to it. Yesterday I paper cut my right index finger. While it’s not that bad on its own, when combined with a mouse button it is indeed a new form of torture.
Do you have any idea how many times you click, double-click and wheel-scroll every day? A lot! I tried to count but I don’t know a number that large. Except gadzillion, to which I don’t know how to count. Anyway, even if you don’t use your mouse so much, you still need to type, don’t you? And typing with the cut on the index finger is more annoying than with any other finger. All because of those little nobs they put on keys F and J so that you could find the home row. Good thing I’m not bleeding at least…