1077: "Home Organization"

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asmodai
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1077: "Home Organization"

Postby asmodai » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:07 am UTC

Image
Title text: "Lifehacking!"



I have a theory about mess: like energy, it cannot be created or destroyed, and can only change forms / concentrations. Every time I tidy up a room a little, one drawer becomes highly chaotic. If I organize my drawers and closets, my car explodes.
Last edited by asmodai on Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:11 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:08 am UTC

So long as everything is where you need it to be... it'll all work out. Chaos Theory.

Except for socks. You're screwed when it comes to socks; doesn't matter who you are.

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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:10 am UTC

Yes, sometimes it's simpler just to move into the box.
Last edited by rhomboidal on Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:12 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby glasnt » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:11 am UTC

I always wondered why people used "Misc" instead of the full name, but it turns out that miscellanous miscellenious miscellaneous is hard to spell.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby asmodai » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:15 am UTC

Also, I just read the instructions page for this bit of forum. Is it really a "race" to get these up? I certainly took my sweet time doing this to have won a race. This was a total attack of opportunity.

Is the comic release staggered in some way? I've noticed sometimes that I won't see the new comic if I check within a an hour or so of midnight, and have to click through to the forum thread to see it.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:18 am UTC

asmodai wrote:I have a theory about mess: like energy, it cannot be created or destroyed, and can only change forms / concentrations. Every time I tidy up a room a little, one drawer becomes highly chaotic. If I organize my drawers and closets, my car explodes.

Actually, there is a rather well-known principle of physics which says something very much like that: the second law of thermodynamics. "Mess" is a pretty good rough description of a quantity more formally called entropy, and the second law of thermodynamics says that you can push entropy around all you want, clearing it out of some places (leaving an ordered state with lots of accessible energy and information), but only by pumping it into other places (leaving a chaotic mess from which it is increasingly difficult to extract energy or information), and no matter how much of that shuffling around of it you do, you always end up with more of it in the end.
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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Quicksilver » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:19 am UTC

I would just populate rooms at a rate of one per day. Start with the bedroom and work your way out from there.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby asmodai » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:21 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
asmodai wrote:I have a theory about mess: like energy, it cannot be created or destroyed, and can only change forms / concentrations. Every time I tidy up a room a little, one drawer becomes highly chaotic. If I organize my drawers and closets, my car explodes.

Actually, there is a rather well-known principle of physics which says something very much like that: the second law of thermodynamics. "Mess" is a pretty good rough description of a quantity more formally called entropy, and the second law of thermodynamics says that you can push entropy around all you want, clearing it out of some places (leaving an ordered state with lots of accessible energy and information), but only by pumping it into other places (leaving a chaotic mess from which it is increasingly difficult to extract energy or information), and no matter how much of that shuffling around of it, you always end up with more of it in the end.


Yeah, that's where the idea came from. I guess I should have known better than to dumb it down on the XKCD forums =P

Sometimes when I'm cleaning I pretend to be Maxwell's demon.

Incidentally, Maxwell's dæmon would be a good name for a robo-vacuum.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby glasnt » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:25 am UTC

asmodai wrote:Also, I just read the instructions page for this bit of forum. Is it really a "race" to get these up? I certainly took my sweet time doing this to have won a race. This was a total attack of opportunity.

Is the comic release staggered in some way? I've noticed sometimes that I won't see the new comic if I check within a an hour or so of midnight, and have to click through to the forum thread to see it.


It used to be a race, where you'd get stub threads up at 00:00:01 UTC-5, but there tends to be less of that lately.

Given that, usually the comics go up at midnight UTC-5 (New York time), unless they're otherwise delayed.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:54 am UTC

asmodai wrote:Incidentally, Maxwell's dæmon would be a good name for a robo-vacuum.

Only a perfect ideal robo-vacuum which operated at perfect efficiency.
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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:13 am UTC

That's similar to my organization, except I have the table out as well as a chair for more comfortable sitting
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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby Alltat » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:14 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Except for socks. You're screwed when it comes to socks; doesn't matter who you are.

The sock issue is solvable, or at least you can get around the problem if you resort to overkill.

Step 1: Throw out all the socks you own. All of them.
Step 2: Buy 40 or more pairs of identical socks.
Step 3: Put all of them in one drawer. Do not pair them up in any way.
Step 4: After each time you wash, put the clean socks back in the drawer (unpaired and uncounted) and shuffle the contents. This ensures an even level of wear.
Step 5: If wear and tear reduces your supply of socks too badly, start over from step one.

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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby MonkeyBoy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:22 am UTC

Alltat wrote:The sock issue is solvable, or at least you can get around the problem if you resort to overkill.


I've done that. Odd that this is the second time the idea has come up here within a month.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby charlieok » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:35 am UTC

I've started to view physical things as similar to technical debt in a software project. The necessary weapon is constant refactoring and ruthless deletion.

Got a new toy? Great, where do you keep it? How do you find it? Does it get in the way of other things? Will it collect dust? Does it require maintenance every x days?

My new goal: Go through *all* my stuff at least once a week. I mean total spring cleaning. Wipe off dust, check expiration dates, do routine maintenance if warranted, clean shelves, counters and floors.

Too onerous? Almost certainly, at first. I'm trying to make some progress every evening. That usually means at least one trip out the door to either a dumpster or goodwill, every day as a matter of habit. But that's a sign of having too much stuff. We can convert so much to digital these days. Any item that doesn't reaffirm it's worth week in and week out is gone.

I'm finding this very freeing.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby ijuin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:38 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
asmodai wrote:I have a theory about mess: like energy, it cannot be created or destroyed, and can only change forms / concentrations. Every time I tidy up a room a little, one drawer becomes highly chaotic. If I organize my drawers and closets, my car explodes.

Actually, there is a rather well-known principle of physics which says something very much like that: the second law of thermodynamics. "Mess" is a pretty good rough description of a quantity more formally called entropy, and the second law of thermodynamics says that you can push entropy around all you want, clearing it out of some places (leaving an ordered state with lots of accessible energy and information), but only by pumping it into other places (leaving a chaotic mess from which it is increasingly difficult to extract energy or information), and no matter how much of that shuffling around of it you do, you always end up with more of it in the end.

As far as house cleaning goes, I think the idea is to concentrate the entropy in the garbage/waste and then throw that away. :D That carries away entropy from an open system, sort of like how the evaporation process lets the escaping particles carry heat away.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Wooloomooloo » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:10 am UTC

ijuin wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
asmodai wrote:I have a theory about mess: like energy, it cannot be created or destroyed, and can only change forms / concentrations. Every time I tidy up a room a little, one drawer becomes highly chaotic. If I organize my drawers and closets, my car explodes.

Actually, there is a rather well-known principle of physics which says something very much like that: the second law of thermodynamics. "Mess" is a pretty good rough description of a quantity more formally called entropy, and the second law of thermodynamics says that you can push entropy around all you want, clearing it out of some places (leaving an ordered state with lots of accessible energy and information), but only by pumping it into other places (leaving a chaotic mess from which it is increasingly difficult to extract energy or information), and no matter how much of that shuffling around of it you do, you always end up with more of it in the end.

As far as house cleaning goes, I think the idea is to concentrate the entropy in the garbage/waste and then throw that away. :D That carries away entropy from an open system, sort of like how the evaporation process lets the escaping particles carry heat away.

You, evil, EVIL person! Don't you care at all about your entropy footprint?!? I mean, think of the children...!

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Eutychus » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:31 am UTC

Wooloomooloo wrote:You, evil, EVIL person! Don't you care at all about your entropy footprint?!? I mean, think of the children...!
On the one hand, this sounds like a great idea: refusing to clean up can now be spun as "ensuring we're an entropy-friendly household".

On the other hand, given the way recycling works where I live, I'm not sure whether our trash isn't actually more ordered that the household it came from...
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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Istaro » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:50 am UTC

Maybe I'm getting old, but just looking at that stick figure makes my back and neck hurt.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:57 am UTC

My ~/ is organized quite similarly. Except that when my ~/misc got very full, I started to organize the things inside it, resulting in a ~/misc/misc folder and after that a ~/misc/misc/misc folder. Guess what happened next.
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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby Graff » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:40 am UTC

Alltat wrote:Step 4: After each time you wash, put the clean socks back in the drawer (unpaired and uncounted) and shuffle the contents. This ensures an even level of wear.

I find it easier to just make a queue: remove socks from one end of the drawer, slide socks down to the removal end, add clean socks to the opposite end of the drawer.

It wears them down more evenly than the randomization method since with randomization you will tend to end up with a wide distribution of sock wear. A queue will end up with roughly the same amount of wear for each sock. The queue is also much easier to perform than mixing the socks up randomly.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby AtG » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:53 am UTC

Alltat wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:Except for socks. You're screwed when it comes to socks; doesn't matter who you are.

The sock issue is solvable, or at least you can get around the problem if you resort to overkill.

Step 1: Throw out all the socks you own. All of them.
Step 2: Buy 40 or more pairs of identical socks.
Step 3: Put all of them in one drawer. Do not pair them up in any way.
Step 4: After each time you wash, put the clean socks back in the drawer (unpaired and uncounted) and shuffle the contents. This ensures an even level of wear.
Step 5: If wear and tear reduces your supply of socks too badly, start over from step one.

And since we make due with finitely many socks there is no need for the Axiom of Choice, beautiful. Let's hope that Bill Murray doesn't go on an infinite sock wanking quest.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Orlando » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:54 am UTC

Eutychus wrote:
Wooloomooloo wrote:You, evil, EVIL person! Don't you care at all about your entropy footprint?!? I mean, think of the children...!
On the one hand, this sounds like a great idea: refusing to clean up can now be spun as "ensuring we're an entropy-friendly household".

On the other hand, given the way recycling works where I live, I'm not sure whether our trash isn't actually more ordered that the household it came from...


Wonder how long it would take for a series of home videos on leading a low-entropy lifestyle to reduce your entropy footprint and prevent entropy buildup from ruining the next generation's future through global chaotifying to get funded on Kickstarter... *beard-stroke*

I am almost certain our recycling piles in the corner of the kitchen are the pinnacle of organization in our flat. So far we are making a pretty impressive replica of the old place, but with the same amount of stuff and 3x the space somehow :shock:

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:39 am UTC

Really, leading a low-entropy lifestyle and leading a sustainable/low-energy lifestyle are the exact same thing already. Every time you use a store of energy somewhere, you convert it from thermodynamically free energy to entropy. The more of that you can reclaim to reuse again later, the less overall entropy you produce in the process. So the less you use, and the more you can reuse or recycle the waste products of what you do use, the less entropy you will produce. Reduce, recycle, reuse; slow the inevitable winding-down of the universe to a state of thermodynamic equilibrium.
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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:46 am UTC

Graff wrote:
Alltat wrote:Step 4: After each time you wash, put the clean socks back in the drawer (unpaired and uncounted) and shuffle the contents. This ensures an even level of wear.

I find it easier to just make a queue: remove socks from one end of the drawer, slide socks down to the removal end, add clean socks to the opposite end of the drawer.

It wears them down more evenly than the randomization method since with randomization you will tend to end up with a wide distribution of sock wear. A queue will end up with roughly the same amount of wear for each sock. The queue is also much easier to perform than mixing the socks up randomly.


I let the dryer handle randomization for me, by way of owning exactly enough pairs of matching socks to last through one week (and a few pairs of different socks for special occasions and emergencies, which generally don't wear out much at all). I empty my entire sock drawer, via my feet, into the hamper each week, run them through two independent tumbling mechanisms each with a different hot medium (water or air) for extra brownian motion, and then pull them out in no particular order, pair them as they come out, and put them back in the drawer. I think that gets them sufficiently randomized.
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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby blowfishhootie » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:51 am UTC

Arancaytar wrote:My ~/ is organized quite similarly. Except that when my ~/misc got very full, I started to organize the things inside it, resulting in a ~/misc/misc folder and after that a ~/misc/misc/misc folder. Guess what happened next.


Well this is just stupid. Once you organize things by whatever category you choose, it no longer makes sense to keep them in a misc. folder.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby cel1ne » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:52 am UTC

Hehe, this is what i've been preaching for several years and using myself. Use a laundry basket for all those cables.

Extracting an item is a bit complex, but cleaning up your room is O(1) !

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby BAReFOOt » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:59 am UTC

“Just give up” “The choice of a coward”.

Act now, and get not one, not two, but three FAILs and one EPIC FAIL, included in the welcome package!

Offer only available as long as stocks last. Terms and conditions apply. Survival not guaranteed. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

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P.S.: Yes, I am aware of the irony in regard to my following post. That’s kinda what I wanted to say.
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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby BAReFOOt » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:20 am UTC

The reason organization doesn’t work out how we want it, is that…
  1. Our mind doesn’t structure things into a tree data structure, but in a graph. Overlapping sets. So any approach that doesn’t allow you to put something in two boxes at the same time (and softlinks don’t count, since you still have to decide which one is the main one, and which one’s link will break, especially for directories), is bound to fail, no matter what. (Yes, that includes OO class hierarchies, file systems, etc.)
    Luckily, there’s an easy solution… at least for data. Just have a graph as your file system. And use tools that aren’t to stupid to handle that. (GNU, I’m looking at you!)
  2. You can’t always put everything into your system, since that would be extremely tedious. So you always end up with a bit of chaos. And over time, this accumulates. Because you want to live (not do the things you need to live), and because you can. (In a professional warehouse, it works, because, and only because, you can’t, and everything has to be in order. Yet even they usually need to take stock [is that the correct English term?] every once in a while.)
    I haven’t found a solution that works for this one. Everything I tried, was bound to fail, since I knew there would be a time, where I just wouldn’t want to keep things in order, but wanted to live. And as soon as I couldn’t remember what exactly there still was not in order, I couldn’t trust the entire system anymore, and had to start anew. So my current theory is, to keep a separate “chaos” section and one where everything always is in order, but not guaranteed to be up-to-date. Unfortunately this turned out to be that the in order section is so old it’s useless, and the "chaos" section is so chaotic, it’s also useless. :/ So now what?

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby BAReFOOt » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:33 am UTC

charlieok wrote:We can convert so much to digital these days. Any item that doesn't reaffirm it's worth week in and week out is gone.
I'm finding this very freeing.


Yeah, unless you deal in ideas, which grow and accumulate into bigger and more generalized ideas over time…
Then this is the worst possible thing you can do.

If I would do that, I would be living on the street.

Some of the things I grew, have taken years, if not decades. There’s no harm in having them lie around in your mind map (file system). And sometimes when you add another idea, you notice commonalities, and merge many of them into one elegant generalized idea. Or put them in a sub-directory if you’re not sure about it yet.
Works like a charm.

Unfortunately, that only works for ideas. Which is why I wrote the above comments. ^^

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby davepermen » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:21 am UTC

Woke up, Opened XKCD, "YES, THAT'S ME!".

Friend sent message to me, hey, seen xkcd? that's so you!

...

yes. this xkcd, that's me.

I feel honoured.

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Devices?

Postby kasmeneo » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:35 am UTC

Am I the only one wondering what the two devices on the right are?
One looks like a wireless LAN station, but the other?
Looks like a gaming console, but that makes no sense without a TV. So what is it?
It's cooler up here.

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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby kasmeneo » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:42 am UTC

Alltat wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:Except for socks. You're screwed when it comes to socks; doesn't matter who you are.

The sock issue is solvable, or at least you can get around the problem if you resort to overkill.

Step 1: Throw out all the socks you own. All of them.
Step 2: Buy 40 or more pairs of identical socks.
Step 3: Put all of them in one drawer. Do not pair them up in any way.
Step 4: After each time you wash, put the clean socks back in the drawer (unpaired and uncounted) and shuffle the contents. This ensures an even level of wear.
Step 5: If wear and tear reduces your supply of socks too badly, start over from step one.



I really wonder what problems people seem to be having with losing socks in the wash. How do you do that?
I have never lost any socks. I check they are in pairs when sorting before washing and sort the pairs together
when hanging them to dry. On the rare occasions when I had an unpaired sock on the line, I found the other
either in the washing machine or in the laundry bin.
It's cooler up here.

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Re: Devices?

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:59 am UTC

kasmeneo wrote:Am I the only one wondering what the two devices on the right are?
One looks like a wireless LAN station, but the other?
Looks like a gaming console, but that makes no sense without a TV. So what is it?


a media server perhaps?

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Re: Devices?

Postby charlieok » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:02 pm UTC

kasmeneo wrote:Am I the only one wondering what the two devices on the right are?
One looks like a wireless LAN station, but the other?
Looks like a gaming console, but that makes no sense without a TV. So what is it?


The tall one looks just like the DSL modem supplied by my ISP. Very often people use a separate device (e.g. Linksys router) for a wifi hotspot.

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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby charlieok » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:08 pm UTC

BAReFOOt wrote:
charlieok wrote:We can convert so much to digital these days. Any item that doesn't reaffirm it's worth week in and week out is gone.
I'm finding this very freeing.


Yeah, unless you deal in ideas, which grow and accumulate into bigger and more generalized ideas over time…
Then this is the worst possible thing you can do.

If I would do that, I would be living on the street.

Some of the things I grew, have taken years, if not decades. There’s no harm in having them lie around in your mind map (file system). And sometimes when you add another idea, you notice commonalities, and merge many of them into one elegant generalized idea. Or put them in a sub-directory if you’re not sure about it yet.
Works like a charm.

Unfortunately, that only works for ideas. Which is why I wrote the above comments. ^^


I'm talking about physical things. Digital things are allowed to pile up in misc. Digital things cost a few cents/gigabyte/month to store. Physical things cost much more in terms of time, money, and energy. I think they have a psychological cost as well.

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Re: 1076: "Home Organization"

Postby radtea » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:12 pm UTC

kasmeneo wrote:I really wonder what problems people seem to be having with losing socks in the wash. How do you do that?
I have never lost any socks. I check they are in pairs when sorting before washing and sort the pairs together
when hanging them to dry. On the rare occasions when I had an unpaired sock on the line, I found the other
either in the washing machine or in the laundry bin.


There's your problem: you're expending far too much attention on your laundry generally and socks specifically. Those of us who lose socks in the wash aren't, leaving us a substantial attention excess that we can use on things more interesting than socks (and really, what isn't?) Attention is a precious resource. Don't waste it on socks!
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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby Oktalist » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:44 pm UTC

As long as your insertion algorithm resembles your search algorithm, you should be alright.
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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby The Moomin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:55 pm UTC

So if we have a blue sock three places to the right of a red sock, are they in the same place?
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Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby ecormany » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:28 pm UTC

was this inspired by the "all i own" photo series, or just amusing coincidence? i only saw it yesterday, so it was fresh in my mind.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670119/pictures-of-millennials-with-everything-they-own-and-it-isnt-much#1

sbkp
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:29 pm UTC

Re: 1077: "Home Organization"

Postby sbkp » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:32 pm UTC

cel1ne wrote:Hehe, this is what i've been preaching for several years and using myself. Use a laundry basket for all those cables.

Extracting an item is a bit complex, but cleaning up your room is O(1) !


The same principle applies to the silverware drawer, although extraction isn't that complex, either.

Pro tip: keep sharp knives separate.


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