Monthly Archives: September 2007

The 28 hours day

The first time I heard about a “28 hour day“, I thought it was just a joke. The thing is that I didn’t realize the fact: 28hours x 6days = 24hours x 7days… until I saw this morning this comic at xkcd.com.
A example schedule The basic idea is to be awake 20 hours, and then sleep 8 hours, ignoring the sun-night pattern (which rules our lives). Sometimes you have breakfast at night, sometimes at midday, sometimes at sunset, etc. And every week (a 6 day week) you repeat the pattern. You can work 4 days, and enjoy a longer weekend (2 days of 28 hours)… not a bad idea.

I’ve found some pages with pros and cons. In brief, you can have longer days, if you can cheat your internal bio-rhythms. The real problem is that you can’t ignore you are in a society, ruled with the standard 24 hours sun-night pattern.

I don’t think I’ll be able to ignore my bio-rhythms, but next month I may try so. I decided to quit from my company (due to “tech incompatibilites”), so I will have a lot of free time: the perfect moment to try this method, even I’m sure a normal person can’t live in this way.

It’s a shame that we can’t usually try all these ideas, that disrupt the standards of our society. This reminds me of “the perfect calendar” (I wrote about it in a previous post). Or the idea (from my grandfather) about stop using a 10-based numerical system and use instead a 12-base system, which has better properties… and it has nothing to do with our 10 fingers (actually we under-use them, because we can count until 1023 with 10 fingers and 2 positions for every finger). Maybe we need more world crisis, to adopt new ideas (this happened with the daylight saving time a century ago).

Lack of usability in old traffic signs

Old traffic sign with long description“By order of the goverment all carts that move on this street should exactly follow the direction that is showed in the drawn cart, otherwise they will be fined with 3 pounds” – From the Museum of Pottery in Barcelona.

Did anybody stop and read the whole text in those times?

I earn (net) 1150€ per month, and I am happy

NOTICE: Find more in my tech blog: liopic.me.

The title should’ve been something like “why do people dislike to speak about their salaries?“, but Jakob Nielsen (a usability leader, but sometimes too radical) suggested to use numbers in the titles.

Coins from EuropeThe people avoid showing their pays to others because they are scared of being compared. It’s a quite silly idea, to use the money you earn as a measure of how good you are. But it’s a numerical, and this means: comparable! Of course, most of them forget the “rest” of things to consider: are you happy with your work, do you have free evenings, do you enjoy your work, etc, and the side benefits (discounts or free use of company’s installations). The thing is that we work just for earning money to live, so the first and big point to consider is the amount of your pay… and sometimes we don’t consider the rest.

Barry Schwartz, in his “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less” presentation caught my attention with some ideas, specially this one: “(if your basic needs are supplied) if you have a choice between x or making more money, almost certainly x is what you should choose” (around minute 45 of the video). You don’t need more money to be happier, so then the “rest” becomes more important than the salary.

But it’s difficult to avoid this human behavior which forces us to compare with others. For example, I got angry when I discovered that a coworker, who is IMHO a total incompetent, earns quite more money than me. Anyway I suggest you to consider not asking for more money, but for more “rest”. The first time I asked my boss for a rise, I changed my mind and instead, I asked for less work hours (with the same salary)… now I work 35h per week (the normal thing is 40h), and the other coworkers envy me, because I go home earlier. Enjoy life!