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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Money: The Unit of Caring - Less Wrong

95 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 March 2009 12:35PM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 March 2009 11:34:13PM 10 points [-]

You can't do that with time - if you don't use all your time doing something, you have wasted it, not saved it.

You assume underemployment.

Another thing that might also be only me or a group of people similar to me is expense compartmentalization.

I believe the standard term is "mental accounting", the same force that leads you to drive across town to save $10 on a $30 shirt but not $10 on a $500 laptop.

Perhaps this is only because I'm pretty poor.

People who genuinely can't trade their time for substantial money under professional specialization may have legitimate cause to want to walk around handing out pamphlets instead.

Comment author: Alicorn 03 April 2009 11:39:00PM *  12 points [-]

I don't assume underemployment, I assume that employment isn't usually traded on a direct fungible-time-for-fungible-money basis (unless one is employed as some kind of freelancer). Most jobs come with an expectation of a long-term commitment, or at least constraints on when the work is done. It's well and good in theory to toss around the idea that people who are volunteering time to a charity could have just gotten second jobs and donated the money, but the odds that they could have gotten second jobs that would conveniently fill the empty time they had to offer - scattered piecemeal around their schedules - are negligible.

I don't think the abandon with which I purchase groceries is the same phenomenon as that kind of mental accounting, because I'm very conservative about non-food purchases in a similar price range, not just with major expenses.