I know that operations that take a long time, like IO operations in Node and AJAX operations on the web, require them to be asynchronous and therefore use callbacks - but who is determining what qualifies as "a long time"? Is there some sort of trigger within these operations that removes them from the normal "event queue"? If not, what makes them different from simple operations like assigning values to variables or looping through arrays, which it seems we can depend on to finish in a synchronous manner?
Perhaps I'm not even thinking of this correctly - hoping someone can set me straight. Thanks!