Resource Theory

socs-badge-2015I’m pretty sure there’s an actual thing called resource theory. Maybe resources. I’m sure someone has lots to say about the way people use resources, as individuals and as a civilization. It’s not my field of expertise. That, in case you’re interested, is information management…yeah, I thought so. I came here from a technical blog that was much more well-researched but much less read. Back to those resources, I’m working on my own theory. I’m not sure you can say you have a theory, if you don’t have expertise, but give me a break, it’s just my blog, not a scientific journal or something.

If you want to know why “break” is bold, this is part of Linda G Hill’s weekly challenge: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “brake/break.” Use one, use them both, but whatever you do, enjoy!

Theories start with observations, I think. I guess they can start with mental things, thoughts and ponderings and such, but these theories started with observations. Let’s start with a few definitions. Scientists like things like that.

Resources is a fancy word for “stuff.” That can be our stuff, the world’s stuff or the universe’s stuff. The key thing to consider when theorizing, or pondering on resources, is that there’s only so much stuff.

The other word to consider is “consumption” or “the using of stuff.” It doesn’t matter if we eat it, burn it or somehow coax it into becoming “other stuff” once we consume stuff, it’s gone, or at least it’s been changed.

I think that’s enough for now. If we need more definitions later, I’ll make more. Definitions aren’t resources. We can’t run out.

Let’s start with Pistachios. Up until we get near the end of the bag, we toss the sealed ones aside. “It’s too hard” “it won’t open” “I’ll break a nail” or something like that. Once you find yourself staring at a pile of sealed pistachios, then you go nuts trying to break them open. At least that’s my style. You’re mileage observations may vary. That’s fine. You can have your own theory if you like. Theories aren’t resources either, we can have as many as we like.

For those of you that might be allergic to nuts, consider your cell phone battery – I’m kinda loosey-goosey with my phone – until it’s under 80% – then I start to pay attention.

A bunch of years ago, we had a freak snowstorm in October. The trees still had leaves. Branches broke (whatDoYaSayLinda?) and whole trees fell all over the place. We lost power for 10 days. 10 days! After that, I got pretty crazy about my battery level. I’m in rehab now. I’m a recovering battery obsessive-compulsive-nut-job. Is that outlet available? Just asking.

Snow
That’s our neighbor’s Oak tree in October 2011. That’s our fence under there.

On the other hand, I sometimes wonder what I would do if I were stranded on a desert island with no signal. I would like to think I’d save the battery, in case I got a signal later, or in case I needed to do some math. On the other hand, I might just get bored and play pool until the battery is dead.

Going to work
Going to work in the 1940s in Pittsburgh. (From Pinterest)

In thinking about those resources that aren’t gone once they’re consumed, I guess it’s only right to consider air and water. We use both. We need both. And, in some way shape or form, both are still here. Unfortunately, our usage impacts the quality of the air and water around us. I grew up in Pittsburgh when the air was foul and the water was probably poisonous. It’s better now, but it took a lot of work to get better. I saw an ad for a TV show on the local PBS station about the 400-mile long Connecticut River. I love this river. Actually, I like most every river. Apparently, back when the rivers in Pittsburgh could kill you, the CT River killed most things trying to live in it, too. It’s better now.

The fact that we’ve improved the rivers doesn’t mean we still aren’t wasting and polluting water. Fracking uses tons of water, and doesn’t leave it in a state that would support life. But, you know, we get cheap natural gas, so… The manufacturing jobs all the politicians promise to bring back to America are polluting the air and water of other countries today. That’s why those jobs will never return. We can’t make cheap stuff AND have clean air and water.

Sorry to end this on a downward trend. I guess resources are a slippery slope. Maybe I should have hit the brakes before I got to life-sustaining resources. Maybe I should have moved from nuts and batteries to M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces. You don’t have to break those bad boys open, but I tend to eat them OCD-style. Reese’s Pieces? I always eat the brown ones first, then the yellow or the orange, depending on which there are fewer of. Fewer first. M&Ms get eaten by color, from least to most, unless I’m driving, then it’s just a random handful.

Linda didn’t mention anything about bonus points, but I used both words, so I think I should get some.

49 thoughts on “Resource Theory

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      1. It’s good to have a writing exercise that lets you do that. (But I understand. Since the original serials at my blog were meant to be purely spontaneous, and even things I do now are under time constraints that don’t allow much editing… I find things in my blog that make me cringe all the time.)
        Isn’t the purpose to focus on the flowing aspect? And then learn what can do with a touch of control. Or that’s my take on it. Just keep swimming. :D

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  1. I’d definitely give you bonus points today. I am orderly about eating colored candy as well…
    I give the hard pistachios to the squirrels, but I do lob one or two to the dog now and again.
    I see your point about manufacturing and pollution, and honestly hadn’t thought of those ‘lost’ companies in that light. Sometimes I do find I’m deeply saddened by how little we MAKE these days, though. Especially in places that may as well be ghost towns since the industry jobs left.
    I never pay attention to my phone battery. This rarely affects my life, although it does seem to bother my family, hehee!

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    1. Thanks. Always good to find others eating candy correctly. There’s lots of reasons certain jobs can’t return, but we should be able to take advantage of new mfg techniques and keep future jobs here. I think my wife would enjoy it if my phone died.

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  2. Dan–you have outdone yourself. This is a riot! M&M’s by color? Pass me the bag, please. Yes, I eat them by color, also–all the colors at one time by the handful!! Great, great post.

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  3. Dan, mostly a fun post, aside from the resources part. Serious stuff! Always well-written though! Very cool candy and old photos! You get extra bags of Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg! Happy Weekend! 💛 Elizabeth

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    1. Sorry for you. I don’t think we know enough about what problem fracking might cause. I’m amazed that we continue to study some things which may be dangerous, but leap into other things that might make money. You didn’t mention colored candies…any particular order or just by the handful?

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  4. Dan, that was quite a meander. :-) Where to start? Both my husband and I have cell phone cases that are also chargers, so if necessary, we can charge our phones from those. My husband used his once to recharge his boss’ phone (speaking of bonus points!) Rivers? When I moved to Cleveland in the 70’s, the city was broke and the river burning. My Colorado friends wondered why I was leaving. I told them I had a job. Cleveland cleaned up its act and its river and I met my husband there, spending many happy years there.

    janet

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    1. Thanks Janet. Sometimes I think I should take the SoCS part out and edit these, but they’re fun little exercises.

      I was just talking to a man who was visiting Hartford from Cleveland. He said that the city is working to recover the waterfront. He said they started later than other cities but are moving along nicely. Recovery takes a long time.

      I left Pittsburgh in the 70s in order to find a job. I guess we go where we have to go. I have a battery backup that will charge my phone a few times. I’ve never actually come close to having a problem. I’ve seen the charging cases. Do they add much weight?

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  5. You had me cracking up in between the serious topics. Love the definitions and the random knowledge that you eat candies by color. Now I am curious, do others do this? I never ever considered this, which then makes me wonder…how do I eat my resources? Surely, I should do it with more precision. Thanks for making me laugh. I needed it.

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this. I wasn’t planning to get so serious but that’s the fun of SoCS. Recent conversations had me thinking about rivers and I guess that’s where my thoughts ran.

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  6. I love your humor, Dan! Yes, you deserve some bonus points. Linda has probably given them to you. I thought of the Kit Kit commercial – “gimme a break, gimme a break, gimme a piece of that Kit Kat bar”. I hope I got it right:-)
    About the pistachios, you’re quite right. I wonder if there’s anyone out there who doesn’t leave the unopened ones until the end.

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  7. You are very thorough with your use of break/broke/brake and the OCD part made me chuckle! In my mind Reese’s pieces all taste the same! I do break down and divide Skittles (red is last, purple second last, etc.) and jelly beans (black and green are first, yellow, white and orange go last.) Favorite Flavors, not colors are my reason why!
    I cannot resist the ad favorite line:”You deserve a break today. . .!” :)

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    1. Thanks Robin. It’s funny, I don’t eat jelly beans in any particular order. I think that’s because when we have them, they’re in a narrow bag and I only eat a few at a time. I can’t believe I forgot Kit Kats and McD’s use of “break” – I support both products, you would think I would have remembered. Thanks for the comment.

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  8. I understand that nothing you say here prompts my question but here it is: I’ve been told that solar cells are good for a few years but then they need to be dismantled and in order to dismantle each more energy is required than it has generated during its lifespan. For this reason, it’s a kind of money laundry. I’m curious about your thoughts on this (if you happen to have some).

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    1. That is a curious connection. I haven’t heard about that aspect. I’ve seen houses around here that have had panels up for about 5 years, and I haven’t seen any activity. My question has always been “who pays to remove and reinstall when you have to replace your roof?” Given the life span of shingles, I’m guessing that, when it’s time to replace them, they would try to talk you into a newer model solar panel anyway. The advertised payback period is 20-25 years, which means that, unless you install them right after a new 30 year roof, there is no payback. Good question – thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only person thinking that this isn’t a good a deal as they suggest.

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  9. “We can make cheap stuff and have clean air and water.”
    That’s very true.
    There’s always a trade. People tend to forget that. Politicians just speak. And people just believe them.
    Something has to be traded for another. My mother used to say that you can’t have everything all at once. You have to forgo some to acquire others.
    Anyway, apropos of your subject matter, what will happen to earth and humanity when we are, say, 9 or 12 billion? I wish we were encouraged more to produce, invent than to just consume, consume, consume, to stuff ourselves and fill our houses with useless stuff.
    Did you watch 12 Monkeys (1995)? Brad Pitt’s character makes a lot of sense in that movie about humanity’s chronic and thoughtless consumption of resources.
    Thank you Dan.

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    1. I love 12 Monkeys, Peter. There are so many scenes in that movie that highlight what’s wrong with us as a people. People always talk about “saving the Earth” – I have a draft post that basically says: “the Earth will be fine, it just won’t support human life any more.” But, the planet will recover after we’re gone. Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Oh, man. You’re really making me want some M&M’s, Dan! Though the originals are good, my favorite are the peanut ones. I have almost zero self-control when those things are around. And a Reese’s peanut-butter egg? Pffft. It’s not Easter without a little pile of those in my basket. You can see why it’s a very good thing that I have a free gym at work …

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    1. Just remember Paul, they seem to use the same mold to make Reese’s Peanut Butter footballs in September. Just a head’s up for you from the sweet tooths at No Facilities :)

      M&Ms don’t have a long life-expectancy in this house. Plain or Peanut.

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  11. I love those old images of Pittsburgh all grainy and foggy.

    Reese’s Peanut Butter anything are a huge hit at our house. While in NYC recently I stopped at the Hershey store in Times Square and found a pack of enormous peanut butter cups. Each cup is er…was a 1/2 pound. He-Man froze them straight-away and has been snacking on them since I got home and gave the pack to him. :) I don’t think after this week-end there will be much left. I need a resource here for those packs. They’re pretty cool, and make neat, and tasty gifts. I should have bought more!

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    1. The old pictures are neat but reminders of a scary time. It wasn’t as bad in the 50s but it was bad. My daughter and I were in NYC yesterday. She wanted to go to B&H. It was hot. I don’t think anything we would have bought would have made it back to the train, but I love that store.

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  12. BH! I said I would only go in if we passed it while on our way to or from another place. Trying to use restraint. :) It worked I never saw the store! My wallet and bank account are thankful!

    Yeah, He-Man and his family have stories of the early years when things weren’t so great around there.

    I wonder if they have those ice packs to go in the summer? You would think so wouldn’t you?

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    1. That would be a good idea. I’m surprised there isn’t someone selling them on the street in front of the store (they sell everything else). I remember when they introduced the Inside Out Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. They had a bunch of different packaging styles in the store. I think those flopped in the market, but they were pretty good.

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