Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • We all know the old cliche that time is money.

  • But have we ever thought to turn that around and think that maybe money is time?

  • Andy George, the host of the YouTube Siri's How to Make Everything, spent six months and $1500 growing in garden, turning ocean water into salt, making cheese and killing a chicken.

  • Also, that he could make a sandwich entirely from scratch.

  • Upon tasting it, his review was, It's not bad.

  • That's about it.

  • It's not bad.

  • He should have just gone down to his local Vietnamese bakery and had a delicious and satisfying pork roll office.

  • $7 in five minutes.

  • That's a saving of five months, 30 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes and $1493.

  • But this experiment got me thinking, How much would you pay for a minute?

  • My next thought was, Why do we always connect money and time, and why are we so anxious about both of these things?

  • The most basic human conundrum is that we have an unlimited list of things that we want and need to do, but only a limited number of resources to take items off that list.

  • The most limited results of all is time.

  • We have an unknown but a finite amount, and once it's gone, there's no getting it back.

  • We try to save time, avoid unpleasant experiences and invest time now for future awards so that we can make the most of it so that we can be the most satisfied.

  • Let's dwell on satisfaction for a moment.

  • We get satisfaction when we fulfill our needs and wants using Harvard Professor Clay Christian Sins Framework.

  • This might include completing a functional task, feeling a particular emotion or engaging in a certain social interaction.

  • Some activities might include all three of these.

  • Take, for example, eating a Vietnamese pork roll.

  • It quells your hunger.

  • It makes you feel good with interesting textures and flavors, and it demonstrates to others that you have a sophisticated and exotic palette.

  • The most important bit here, though, is time.

  • If we can fulfill more needs in less time, then we've got more satisfaction out of that time, and we have more free time to fulfill other needs and wants.

  • Imagine if you had to do everything for yourself this morning with no help from technology or from anyone else just to get here waking up.

  • You'd be hating the water for your shower over a fire.

  • So which you would have had to gather the wood, the breakfast you be foraging for fresh leaves and mushrooms that certainly be no smashed ever on toast.

  • Then, after walking here, you'd have to barter you away and trading something that the person on the door wanted.

  • You'd be lucky to have got an inside by sunset.

  • And you have missed oldie, entertaining and insightful talks here at Ted Paleolithic.

  • How deeply unsatisfying.

  • Fortunately, society has evolved to help us minimize this waste and inefficiency by specializing instead of just solving all our own needs.

  • Each of us focuses on fulfilling a particular need or want for ourselves and for other people.

  • We seek help from technology so that we can do it faster and better by specializing, we save time for other people, and we stop them, adding a whole pile of needs and wants to their already extensive lists compared to just buying a sandwich and making sure it's fresh.

  • Andy George had a bunch of integrated needs, worrying about whether the chickens were fed the veggies were watered and the cheese was right all long before he could eight.

  • So when we specialize, we help others better balance their needs and their time.

  • And shouldn't we be rewarded for that?

  • So what we've done over time is built a system to do just that, to swap share and accumulate all the time that we've saved this system, his money.

  • If you can help others improve how they spend that time, you get a little bit of that time back for yourself.

  • It's this phenomenon that drives our quest for grief with money as a proxy for time saved and improved.

  • It follows that as an economy grows, we fulfill more needs in less time, giving us back more time to take items off that infinite list as someone who works to make people's interactions with the world easier and better, I think about these choices a lot.

  • I've tried to codify it with a very rough equation, and I want to apologize in advance because I know there are lots of exceptions and distortions to this.

  • Humans have unlimited needs and limited but unknown time.

  • Most people are very uncomfortable with this uncertainty, and so we'll try to fit as many needs into the least time is possible.

  • Therefore, the value of a product or service can be understood by considering how many needs it fulfills in the time taken to fulfill them.

  • That is, how satisfying is it the most satisfying something is, the more valuable it is and produces, or creators can capture part of that value for themselves.

  • For example, Stripe is a business to business startup whose mission is to grow the JD pay of the Internet.

  • Functionally, they help entrepreneurs set up their companies with the right legal and banking arrangements, accept payments and understand customers.

  • Emotionally.

  • They help entrepreneurs feel secure and certain navigating the complexity of setting up a business.

  • And socially, they make it really easy for the end customers to pay for stuff.

  • The best bit is that this whole takes two weeks and $500 instead of the six months and thousands of dollars it could have cost otherwise.

  • Instead, entrepreneurs were able to spend that time doing stuff that's quarter their business, winning customers and delivering valuable things for those customers.

  • It's no wonder that Stripes, only six years old, but it's already worth $9 billion all because of how much time it gives back to their customers so they could make better, more productive, most satisfying use of that time.

  • If we apply this equation a little bit more broadly, we can understand why particular industries and organizations have bean and are valuable mess production for time saving devices into the hands of millions more people than ever had them before.

  • Supermarkets and shopping malls put the solutions to so many needs and wants under a single roof.

  • And from the printing press to modern media platforms, publishers condensed hours and hours of work into easily digestible bite size pieces.

  • So you think that over thousands of years of learning, technological development and specialization, we'd be moving towards a pretty good place with time coming back to us left, right and center.

  • We might even be moving towards John Maynard Keynes vision for the future of humanity, where our biggest problem would be how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have one for us to live wisely and agreeably and well, that is how do we use all this free time that we've created for ourselves and it's true.

  • We do have more time.

  • We're living longer and technology is helping us fulfill more and more of our needs.

  • But in 2017 I don't think it really feels like that.

  • As individuals, we're busier than ever and increasingly focused on the short term.

  • And as a society we're replacing people with technology without the structures to support that shift.

  • And I think that the culprit is specialization.

  • We've gone so far down the path of breaking down and speeding up how we fulfill our wants and needs, that we've lost the context and the interplay between them.

  • Yes, on a per individual need basis, we are spending our time more efficiently.

  • But asshole people, we need a more complete view off how our wants and needs intersect so that we can find the balance between specialization and integration.

  • I suspect it lies somewhere between the farmyard and the subway sandwich.

  • So this leaves us with two big questions that we have to pond off the first.

  • If people fundamentally want to be satisfied, how do we create a shared understanding of wants needs and time and the balance that we need to strike between them and as the structure of work, technology and labor changes.

  • What do we need to do to make sure that everyone can live a life that's valuable for others and satisfying for themselves?

  • Now I realize that every moment of yours here is one that you can't get back and might very well be a lost.

  • So so I won't take up any more of an indefinite number of them trying to answer these questions.

  • But fundamentally, humans are resourceful and inventive, and I do believe that in the long term we will find new ways to save and to share time and two fairly measure and distribute the spoils our government institutions and indeed our culture will have to change to support this, to bring everyone along for the ride.

  • The biggest barrier is definitely going to be ourselves.

  • A pessimist might say that humans are just fundamentally to self interested for this to work buzz.

We all know the old cliche that time is money.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 fulfill satisfying specialization valuable satisfaction technology

The most precious commodity of all? | Will Jenkins | TED Institute

  • 2 1
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/20
Video vocabulary