It was a Wednesday, just like any Wednesday in September 2012. I’d gather my stuff, prepare to leave home, and stepped outside the front door – next, ordered the elevator, and then… and only then, I really started thinking. You know, the brain of an old fart like me doesn’t get switched on very early in the morning – the coding sessions (this time: first Ruby on Rails at around 00:30 the same night) take their toll. Not to mention Boy wonder! 😉
There, standing opposite me, the Mirror shows a man carrying a lot of stuff. I’ve got some PC gear (that is, my laptop and its auxiliary junk like mouse, charger, mousepad), a mobile charger, earphone wires hanging apparently from my head. A lot of junk! Could we do with less? Could we strip ourselves of almost every piece of hardware, and leave dressed casually – look like humans?
This has been the question for one eternity, namely from the beginning of man’s transformation towards a cyborg.
We carry stuff usually because of Expected Utility hypothesis. There might of course be some other reasons – fashion is not a bad pick of a guess, what do you think?
But hey, what’s that ‘Utility’? The word brings me instant memories of some board games and the.. ah, now I get it! Monopoly and those utility companies: electric company and water works.
The “utility” in everyday sense can be translated to mean a haphazard but quite workable estimate of “the worth of a gadget in particular situation(s)”. Since it’s an estimate, it should have some kind of enumerable value, perhaps just a number between 0-10. Number 10 means that you absolutely know the object is worth carrying, whereas a 0 means you are definitely wasting time carrying that item around.
There are certain norms that almost anyone abides. Let’s start with – clothes. It’s a safe bet to say that no matter where you’re reading this article, your genitals will be covered when you’re going out of the door. So what should we do with underwear, conserning our valuation scheme? Are they a “number 10” or should we omit underwear from the list since they’re kind of “assumed to be always with us” ?
I’ll continue with writing the part II: The “Get all” strategy. Meanwhile, feel free to comment!