Monday, June 29, 2009

The quality of abundance

It looks like the Toaster project is done and not everyone likes it which is kind of sad to think that they don't get the fact that modern life is only possible by the interactions of millions of people.
This is not the first time something like this was attempted either, Wired has a good article on the 100 mile suit. Again tough but possible.

But you have to combine it with Free! reviewed by Wired.
As much as we complain about how expensive things are getting, we're surrounded by forces that are making them cheaper. Forty years ago, the principal nutritional problem in America was hunger; now it's obesity, for which we have the Green Revolution to thank. Forty years ago, charity was dominated by clothing drives for the poor. Now you can get a T-shirt for less than the price of a cup of coffee, thanks to China and global sourcing. So too for toys, gadgets, and commodities of every sort.

Doing anything the first time is very, very hard and very, very expensive. But if it is worth doing once, it might be worth doing again, and again and again. And if you focus on refining the process of doing it again making it cheaper, faster and better.

Nowadays I don't really recommend a specific computer to people, if it has a processor faster then 1GHz and 1GHz of RAM it will be fine for most uses, unless you are doing high-end photo, graphics or video work.

It comes down to when you have an abundance of something you have the freedom to get creative with it and not feel bad when it doesn't work out. Quantity has a quality of it own, If we are working with something we don't have a lot of like a steak we'll be far more careful and less tolerant of mistakes. We have given our daughter some things in plenty: Legos, construction paper, tape, crayons, Al foil and the like. She comes up with great things. Then again she occasionally does something completely wacky, like give herself a makeover using a green marker (washable markers FTW)

Driving through Kansas we saw a sign that said that 1 Kansas farmer feeds 120 people. For the longest time farmers could just feed themselves, but once crop yields improved all kinds of things got better. Leaving time for philosophy, science and the arts. Which make a different difference in our lives.

ht Marginal Revolution
ht Daring Fireball

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