Beeminder Forum

Is it worth the time?

Came across this again today: xkcd: Is It Worth the Time?

Of course, being just the sort of person he’s aiming at, I had to write a script to see if the times were right and tweak it to show the times in each cell in work days (8 hours) instead of 24 hour days (all times rounded down; not super well tested, I think it’s OK):

┌────────────┬─────────────┬──────────────┬──────────────┬──────────────┬──────────────┬──────────────┬──────────────┐
│            │ 50/day      │ 5/day        │ 1/day        │ 1/week       │ fortnightly  │ monthly      │ yearly       │
├────────────┼─────────────┼──────────────┼──────────────┼──────────────┼──────────────┼──────────────┼──────────────┤
│ 1 second   │ 3 days 1 hr │ 2 hrs 32 min │ 30 min 26 s  │ 4 min 20 s   │ 2 min 10 s   │ 59.9 s       │ 5.0 s        │
│ 5 seconds  │ 15 days     │ 1 day 4 hrs  │ 2 hrs 32 min │ 21 min 44 s  │ 10 min 52 s  │ 4 min 59 s   │ 25.0 s       │
│ 30 seconds │ 95 days     │ 9 days       │ 1 day 7 hrs  │ 2 hrs 10 min │ 1 hr 5 min   │ 29 min 56 s  │ 2 min 29 s   │
│ 1 minute   │ 190 days    │ 19 days      │ 3 days 6 hrs │ 4 hrs 20 min │ 2 hrs 10 min │ 59 min 52 s  │ 4 min 59 s   │
│ 2 minutes  │ 380 days    │ 38 days      │ 7 days       │ 1 day 0 hrs  │ 4 hrs 20 min │ 1 hr 59 min  │ 9 min 59 s   │
│ 5 minutes  │ 951 days    │ 95 days      │ 19 days      │ 2 days 5 hrs │ 1 day 2 hrs  │ 4 hrs 59 min │ 24 min 59 s  │
│ 15 minutes │ -           │ 285 days     │ 57 days      │ 8 days       │ 4 days 0 hrs │ 1 day 6 hrs  │ 1 hr 14 min  │
│ 30 minutes │ -           │ 570 days     │ 114 days     │ 16 days      │ 8 days       │ 3 days 5 hrs │ 2 hrs 29 min │
│ 1 hour     │ -           │ -            │ 228 days     │ 32 days      │ 16 days      │ 7 days       │ 4 hrs 59 min │
│ 2 hours    │ -           │ -            │ 456 days     │ 65 days      │ 32 days      │ 14 days      │ 1 day 1 hr   │
│ 4 hours    │ -           │ -            │ 913 days     │ 130 days     │ 65 days      │ 29 days      │ 2 days 3 hrs │
│ 6 hours    │ -           │ -            │ -            │ 195 days     │ 97 days      │ 44 days      │ 3 days 5 hrs │
│ 8 hours    │ -           │ -            │ -            │ 260 days     │ 130 days     │ 59 days      │ 4 days 7 hrs │
│ 12 hours   │ -           │ -            │ -            │ 391 days     │ 195 days     │ 89 days      │ 7 days       │
└────────────┴─────────────┴──────────────┴──────────────┴──────────────┴──────────────┴──────────────┴──────────────┘

I do know nothing is quite this simple of course, but at the same time I feel like I should learn something from it.

Obviously opportunity cost comes into it. Maybe a third of days in the year, I spend 15 mins cleaning the condensation off my windows every morning. It can be annoying, but I don’t think I’m about to take three working weeks off (57 days/3) to fix it :slight_smile:

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Haha, that’s great!

Also, I really like one of the ideas around Five Whys, where whenever an issue comes up, you spend a few minutes addressing the underlying causes, so that theoretically, the more an issue comes up, the more time you’ll put into addressing the root cause, without ever having to invest all the time that would take to eliminate it in one sitting.

And the obligatory XKCD counterpoint: :wink:

image

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Interesting that you see that one as a counterpoint, certainly Mr. Munroe seems to see it the other way from the alt text of the one I posted :slight_smile:

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Love the chart! :smiley:

I always feel that these kinds of graphs really need to be three-dimensional, with the third axis representing how much enjoyment you have while automating the task and how much satisfaction you get from watching your code making your life easier each day. The greater the enjoyment, the more time you can sink into the coding without the graph going into the wasted time region.

Automation is a hobby, not wasted time. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I want to :heart: this twice.

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