## 0951: "Working"

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### Re: 0951: "Working"

Here's a good way to put things in perspective. In the end, you'll decide whether it was worth it once you get old and have lived your life. Assuming you are 25 now, lets say you are 55 and look back and decide if it was worth it.

Let's take a span or 30 years of saving X dollars per fill up. Say you fill up once a week. Assuming Randall's comic is correct, you spend 9 minutes per week saving X dollars a week.

After 30 years, you save 52(30)x dollars. 1560x. x =1 dollar in randall's comic so you save 1,560 dollars.

After 30 years, you lose 52(30)9 minutes. 14,040 min. = 9.75 days.

According to Randall's comic, 9.75 days of free time over 30 years is worth more than \$1,560 dollars.

life is just too short to waste 9.75 days of your life saving 1560 dollars. This was my mentality in college. Instead of taking a 8 dollars an hour job to pay my college expenses, i took out loans, figuring I would make 5 times that amount some day, it's not worth wasting my youth when I can enjoy that time and pay the money off at a much quicker rate when my expertise were better.
Edrees

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### Re: 0951: "Working"

skeptical scientist wrote:Gah! I hate you jsMath! Why are you bugging me with your browser-hijacking math scripts when I'm not even reading the math forums!?

This.

I hate JSMath too. It's like my browser has crashed or something.

Ephemeron

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### Re: 0951: "Working"

Ephemeron wrote:I hate JSMath too. It's like my browser has crashed or something.

scarletmanuka

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### Re: 0951: "Working"

AvatarIII wrote:this just basically confirms that a low population density is actually a bad thing, in the uk most people are within walking distance if at least one pub and one grocery shop,

Population densities for Europe and the US are quite similar when comparing areas of the same type (i.e. rural to rural, suburb to suburb, city to city). I know, because I thought there was a big difference between them too before I did a little fact checking.

The problem, I think, is zoning. In most US municipalities zoning is pretty strict, especially suburban communities. That is, you have residential, commercial, and industrial areas, and they often aren't permitted to mix.

This means that in most US cities it is illegal to build a grocery store and a pub in the middle of a residential area. The only people who are within walking distance of a pub and a grocery store, therefore, are those who live right on the border of a commercial zone. The vast majority of the residents of a neighborhood are too far away to make walking practical.

This may actually be the same for European countries, and they simply have a higher number of dense metropolitan areas which creates the disparity in the overall percentage of walkers. If so, this falls under what is known as the "ecological fallacy". That is, the "big picture" numbers cause you to reach an incorrect conclusion because of misleading data sets that vastly skew the final result.

For example, the average grade of the students in a school is passing, but if you remove a small subset of the students that perform spectacularly well you find that the vast majority of students are failing. The school has serious problems, even though it looks like it is performing just fine.
bigjeff5

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### Re: 0951: "Working"

I doubt zoning is the problem Houston, TX has no zoning whatsoever, and people build things where it's naturally best to build them anyway. The result is one of the best real estate markets in the country, but it doesn't make the city any less dense - Houston is very spread out.

The problem with almost every single analysis of this comic is they leave out that we generally make no money at all for our time. The issue is utility - if we have a lot else to do, then spending extra time "working for less than minimum wage" may not be worth it. If we don't have something else we particularly desire or need to do, it might very well be better than working for nothing at all.
Kaiman

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### Re: 0951: "Working"

Kaiman wrote:I doubt zoning is the problem Houston, TX has no zoning whatsoever, and people build things where it's naturally best to build them anyway.

Ah! A splendid fallacy!

This was once a widespread idea in ecology. People thought that each ecosystem was ideally adapted to its environment. It turned out that each surviving ecosystem was better adapted to its ecosystem than any of its neghboring ecosystems were, which were themselves each adequately adapted to their own environments.

It was once widespread in evolutionary studies. People thought that each species must be ideally adapted to its environment because it had evolved. Their visible characteristics must each be good for something or they wouldn't be that way. But evolutionists got over it.

Economists similarly once believed that free markets must optimize something-or-other. Free markets give everybody the chance to make their best choices, so the choices people make on average must be the best, right? But now most economists do understand that free markets don't in fact optimize anything in particular.

It was a silly idea, wasn't it? If all it took to solve an NP-hard problem in a short time was to set up a free market, what a great thing that would be!

Anyway, your point is a good one. If you get a bad result without zoning, then zoning can't be the only reason for that bad result.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.
J Thomas
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