2013-03-31

The cost of a sandwich

Since I'm an avid sandwich eater, I've decided to measure approximately how much it costs to make one sandwich, on average.

The prices for the ingredients are from Auchan in Cluj-Napoca, and the measurements are made by manually approximating, because container shapes aren't quite simple. I believe the most inaccurate product was the lettuce, since density, leaf area, usable leaf size, and shape all varied with the radius. I just guessed.

The picture on the right doesn't do my accuracy justice, since I only had one hand, but was included for fun. You can see the markers for "0" and "2", meaning how many sandwiches had been made when the ketchup inside was at that position.

The ingredients I used were lettuce, ketchup, ham, cheese, bread, and electricity - because I used a sandwich maker.
The most pointless to compute is the electricity, which means I'll dedicate extra effort to it. It involves unit conversion and adding the VAT (the most complicated mathematical operation involved in this analysis).
My sandwich maker uses 750 Watts, and one sandwich is done in 2min15s. Which means I use 0.028125 kWh per sandwich. Electrica Distribuție Transilvania Nord says a kWh of "active power" is 0.02207 RON. The "reactive power" is negligible here, since my sandwich maker has a very high yield (electricity to heat). However, with the VAT, that's 0.0273668 RON. Therefore, it costs me 7.7*10^-4 RON to cook one sandwich. That value is invisible on the graph, when compared to the other ingredients:


The final cost is about 2.3 RON, if you pick either the cheese or the dill cream. If you're planning to start a business, remember the rent and the salaries.
As expected, the most expensive item is the ham. Become a vegetarian and save money, your health, and the world! Or perhaps a partial vegetarian if meat is too tasty. Also, don't take me as a role model. I don't always practice what I preach, try as I might.
Also, you're extremely unlikely to enjoy the same ingredients in the same proportions as me, so your results will vary. They shouldn't vary that much, though. If you do such an analysis yourself, feel encouraged to post your results!

You can view and play with the data here.

Update - 4/12: here's a pic:

2013-03-12

Why I am trying to reduce jobs

If a politician told you he's trying to reduce the number of jobs in the economy, you'd probably not vote for him, and consider him a lunatic. However, here's what me and Paul Țiței have come up with, for improving everyone's lives:
Make everyone unemployed.

What is our reasoning? How could this possibly have any good effects? How would this work?
Well, we believe technology is going to be so disruptive, so efficient and useful, so ubiquitous that it will replace all jobs. There'll be robots doing every menial job there is. After all, why couldn't they, or why shouldn't they? See one of my earlier posts to convince yourself.

Nobody will have to work again. Only the people who enjoy doing something will do it. There'll be learning,  There's going to be a utopia. Socialist revolution anyone? Honestly, I think social democracy is one of the best ways of governing (hint hint - the Nordic model).
When I study (computer science, which is one of the hardest fields to automate), I sometimes motivate myself by thinking, "a lot of people will lose their jobs because of me, and it's going to be the best thing that happened to them".
Stop looking down on people who lost their jobs. Their job was among the most easily automated ones. They were automated out. They spent an important part of their life practicing for something that they'll not be able to do. People are competing with machines, and machines are way more competitive. What does 3D printing mean for carpenters? Automated trucks for freight drivers? Scientist robots for scientists, for crying out loud!

Once nobody has a job anymore, we will have been forced to find a better political model, that will unify us and provide for us, using machines. Everything will be for free (or perhaps, given limited resources, meritocratic). Perhaps, money will become alike tokens of merit - karma, and will be only used for donations. The world will become a better place.

The moral of the story: take out someone's job!