Further Benefit of a Kind of Inconvienience System Labratory

Thinking about Bol!

Daily Bol

Archive for 2009年6月

A BoI-esque method of exchanging cash

A card that has to be used systematically
Limits the opportunities to top-up and doesn’t show the available balance
Leads to a habit of logging purchases and budgeting

A card that plays a selected tune with a default method in a transaction
The longer and more complex the phrase that is played, the more points that are received, which can be swapped for points.
Needs practice, but might be fun to hear others play?

Puzzle coins (The value increases if the pictures match)
Takes up space, hard to sort (difficult to make)

Card which aids budgeting (If liked up to an app, it produces a budget)
Need to sort out the type (Food, travel etc) at transaction

A card that needs to undergo a procedure before use
Takes effort → avoid excessive use

An annoying ATM (questions the use for money when withdrawing)
Will make purchasing more planned?

The card which shows the cost and retail price of products
Requires cognitive resources → understanding of economics (a blow to the shop)

Money that becomes heavier as its’ value increases
Bulky, heavy → greater sense of profit, avoid excessive use, difficult to be stolen
Shouldn’t be like ancient money (Shekels, stone beads)

Frequently redesigned currency (can still use older designs)
Would be fun, but could be counterfeit if the previous design is forgotten

Currency that can be deduced by touch
Is there any inconvenience? (Would it just be an extra feature?)

Money/Local currency with negative interest (the value decreases with time)
Encourages cash flow
Used at the same time as other currencies with a fixed value

Hearing Aid

Headphone-shaped hearing aids.
Bulky and inconvenient, but can achieve some distance between the mic and speaker, and prevents feedback.

Useful Credit card

The nice thing about credit cards is that, they can guarantee one’s status, and can help achieve points.
The conveniences of card payment, as opposed to cash, is that it takes less effort and service fees for exchanging currencies and sending money (e.g. online shops, overseas).
Not very physical (takes little space, doesn’t decompose, less unhygienic).
Less mental load (No need to calculate change, no need to count remaining money, no need to calculate remaining balance (delayed payment), not all properties are lost when lost or stolen, can be insured if used in fraudulent activity, not possible with counterfeit money).

The nice thing about cash is the different designs between countries (somewhat collectible).
The conveniences of Cash payment as opposed to card, is that it is very physical. It’s harder to overspend, can physically feel the amount of money in your possession, feel the loss, feel exchanges, easy to split the bill, when lost or stolen, the amount of possession lost is that amount of cash, can be used for games (coin toss, spinner, pyramids).
Helps thinking (trains mental math, nice when you have the right amount of spare change, some concern when having little cash, fear of losing, more reluctant to spend, nice to receive).

A Benefit of Inconvenience that beautifully becomes dirty

Inconvenience → takes effort → high frequency of interaction between people and things → become dirty. Accumulating dirt itself is also an inconvenience (takes effort to clean up)

But, my mugs differ from other people’s mugs with a little stain on the handle slightly clockwise from the handle, because of my left-handedness, and make then personal and well-worn. Also the patterns made from jeans that haven’t been stone-washed.

Beautifully dirty?

I’ve previously discussed how something becoming “beautifully dirty” could be an example of BoI, but, there have been several similarities with personalization, as explained in Don Norman’s book Emotional Design (Basic Books, 2003). That, and when I submitted it for editing, I was questioned, “How does that differ to well-worn appeal?”

1. Becomes beautifully dirty
2. Personalization
3. Well-worn appeal

The stains on a paper dictionary could be classed as all three, sticky notes might differ from 3. The softness of the pages isn’t an appeal, so 1,2. The gleam of the old floorboards which only appear by the inn’s landlady polishing it everyday belongs to 1 and 3. There are overlaps, but don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

Old and rich, Convenient and poor

Keiko Igata’s Book, An old and rich British house, a Convenient and poor Japanese house (Shincho Publishing, 2004, in Japanese).
It’s interesting to see that the words “old” and “Convenient” as juxtaposing, but maybe it couldn’t be helped to make a catchy title.

Is it bad to completely divide labor?

Between keeping the local river clean and swimming in it occasionally, and constructing a swimming pool even at the cost of polluting the river, for the purpose of swimming, the latter is better for the flow of money. In a society obsessed with raising GDP, the latter is better, but looking at this with just GDP as a factor feels a bit strange.

If we just want cash flow, isn’t it better to work in smaller community scales rather than national scales? Rather than producing for consumers that we’ll never meet, it’s nicer to produce for people that we feel personal connections. The meaning of production also feels understandable. For example, the meaning of making an eco-friendly car is more easily grasped if we see someone driving one, even if the locals are using their eco-car as a ‘get-out-jail-free card’ for driving walkable distances, or distances where the train is more friendly.

If there’s no need for cash flow, there are methods such as self-sufficiency, trades, local currencies. However, if, for example, a farmer takes their plentiful eggplants for swapping, only to find that everyone else had made numerous eggplants, then there is no value. It’s better to have something that only you can make. Thus there is a pressure for separating labors.

Naito’s Model

A Problem from Masa-aki Naito (Head of Centre for Lake Biwa environment studies)’s model.
On a plane where x=technical capabilities and an independent plane y
Assuming x>0, y>0, x2+y2<1,
Current Japan lies on point (0.8, 0.2) and a Developing country lies on (0.2, 0.8).
The point which maximizes both x+y=1 and x2+y2 is called a sustainable society.

While maintaining the y-value of Japan, how much leeway is there to maximize x2+y2?
How much should Japan move to become sustainable?
What does the y-axis mean?


Shouei Miura (~S12) had left the words “local climate industry”. I hear that they are discussing the local inequalities and indigenousness. I’d like to have a look.