The value of inconvenience

I am watching this talk by Clay Shirky in which, among other things, he points out that inconvenience can have value, an idea I have been talking about for over ten years now, the differences being I talk about the evils of efficiency, and no one pays me to do it.

Who would think that efficiency could be bad, or inconvenience good? Yet, this is how all security measures (among other things) function, by increasing inconvenience, slowing things down, reducing efficiency. Locks, fences, passwords, democracy, brakes, parachutes.

Just ask Wall St. what happens when things get too convenient.

Brilliant, right? Up there with my solar slot car idea, and solar roofs. And stuff.

Another old idea I’ve been thinking about this week is my formula for the Chaos Coefficient: C=(f+p)f

There’s an online calculator on my old blog, up at the top. I just tried it out, it still works. With four people in my household, and two cats and a turtle, my chaos coefficient is 2401. It will increase to 6561 when my wife picks up the two kittens on Wednesday. This means that, roughly, life will become 2.5 times more inconvenient, starting then.

But inconvenient turns out to be good, so that’s okay.