Re: Shoppers in your Palm

Kragen Sitaker (
Fri, 11 Jun 1999 16:50:44 -0400 (EDT)

Somebody wrote:
> >Imagine something as simple as checking off your grocery list,
> >being able to determine whether other stores have discounts on
> >canned ham, or simply automatically giving a total plus tax sum of all the
> >items you've put in your shopping cart.

Fuck the GDP. It adds value to my life, the same way having trees in
my yard does. It frees up time I was spending on unproductive things
(really, how interesting is grocery shopping?) and lets me spend that
time on things like making love or contract work or free software. And
it increases the available pool of labor, meaning everyone will work
longer hours for the same pay. :)

> Too often I'm hearing about e-commerce at the margins: from shaving a
> few bucks off of bulk plastic purchases, to slapping a 20% markup on
> wine for recommendations & gift wrapping. No: the real value is in
> enabling more plastic stuff to be made -- say, libraries of part
> designs and smaller-volume manufacturers coming on line --

Of course the applications you describe are important. But margins are
important; money you save at the margins can be invested elsewhere,
instead of being spent on stuff that really doesn't add any value to

To put it another way: these marginal things are reducing the amount of
effort needed to accomplish the necessary, but unproductive, things
like choosing wine. Sounds like value to me.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
TurboLinux is outselling NT in Japan's retail software market 10 to 1,
so I hear.