Sunday, January 16, 2011

Killing the dragon

Another story told by a colleague:
Once upon a time outside a kingdom there was a dragon. The dragon would come to the people and eat the crops and sheeps causing the people to suffer. The people complained to the King and the King organized a team of the best warriors to kill the dragon.

After a big ceremony they sent the team to the dragon cave. After the warriors went into the cave, those waiting outside heard sounds indicating that there were fightings going on in the cave. After some time, it became quiet, and the dragon didn't appear. So, the assume that the dragon was killed and went back home.

However, the dragon came again the next month. Again, they sent another team of their best warriors. Again, some fighting went on for a while in the cave and the dragon didn't come out. They went back home. However, the dragon came again on the following month.

This went on for many months until they have only one warrior left. Again, after a great ceremony, they sent this warrior to the dragon cave.

This warrior entered the cave, saw the dragon, pulled out his sword, and it didn't took him much effort to kill the dragon. Being the worst warrior in the kingdom, he was curious how could this happen? What happened to the earlier warriors? So, he went deeper in to the cave trying to find out. He saw many gold and treasures inside the cave, and there was a chair made of gold. Still wondering what exactly happened, and being a little tired, he sat on the chair to think.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The neglected R of the 4 Rs

I learned about the 4 Rs on being more earth friendly a few years back. Recycle is the most well known. Reuse could be the second most well known. I think the last two should need more publicity.

I think the third is reduce. I find it contradictory to conduct reuse competition and projects when participants, even though may be told to collect used item, just buy the materials they need. Sometime even though the main item is truly used item, but the auxiliary items aren't. If, by reusing something you increase, instead of reduce, the consumption of another item, may be it is not worthwhile reusing. Thus, it is more important to stress on the concept of reduce than reuse. It is better to have nothing spare for reuse than to have spare things for reuse.

The neglected one is refuse or reject. In a way, recycle is the most effective way, but that is not on the part of consumer, but the manufacturer, starting from the designer. The design and materials used for a product should be as recyclable as possible. However, if they don't have pressure from the consumer to do so, they are not likely to do so. Thus, as consumers we should learn to refuse and reject products where the recyclable level is low.

One practice I think that can combine the last two is by buying custom made products. Take for example printed T shirts. I think most people don't like to see many others on the street wearing the same T-shirt. Wouldn't it be nice if you can print your own T shirt? For example, if you are a fan of Navy, you may consider printing some navy t shirts, or if you want to spread stories about pirates, you can wear Pirate T shirts. In so doing, T shirt companies may end up reduce their productions for the mass market when more people refuse/reject mass produced products.

Sales without "sales" items

Consumers want to save money. So, the retailers organize sales. However, there are some problems with sales. If the sales are real, the retailers profit become lesser. If the sales are faked, e.g. by putting up an increased retail price before the discount, then consumers lose trust in the company, and even the whole concept of sales. Another problems is that in general, like the sayings that pay peanuts get monkeys, usually items on offer are not the normal items. It might not be intentional. For example, at clearance sales, as the name suggest, these items were the ones that weren't chosen by earlier customers, which could imply that these were likely not the best ones among the batch of products.

Recently, technology helps to make possible and easy the way to offer cheaper products to selective or a controlled number of customers. The idea of giving/selling discount coupons online. is such an example. In this way, as the discount is not for all walk-in customers, you don't expect the products and their displayed retail prices to be difference than during normal days. By controlling the number of coupons given out, the retailers can have good control of their discount budget.

Of course, lets hope no retailers are so free and bad to categorized their products between buyers with and without discount coupons.

Answer by not answering

A story told by a colleague:
Once upon a time in a forest there was a lion who became a King. As a King he should behave in a royal way, and eating live animal is not appropriate. However, the lion had to do it secretly.

After each daily meetings with all the animals, the lion will ask one to stay behind. He will ask if his mouth smells. If the animal answers "no, Your Majesty, it doesn't smell," he would accuse the animal lying to him and eat the animal. If the animal answers "yes, Your Majesty, it smells," he would accuse the animal dare to say his mouth smell and eat the animal.

Thus, the number of animals decreased daily. A wise rabbit noticed and think something fishy must be happening. One day, this rabbit was told to stay back. When asked the question, this rabbit replied:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is this a spot the mistakes advertisement?

Sent from my Samsung Omnia II GT-I8000

The first mistake I noticed is in the units.
Then I noticed the error in 640, before the words "check again!" got my attention.
On further reading and thinking...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Barry Schwartz: Using our practical wisdom | Video on

Barry Schwartz: Using our practical wisdom | Video on

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