Monday, August 03, 2015

Duplication and De-Duplication

NB: Marcus buys a second (identical) IKEA children's mat which I plan to use for situps whilst on holiday :-)

Question:
Do you find yourself buying multiple identical items?

Backstory
An acquaintance once engaged me in conversation about her new expensive home stereo system in London.  She believed that this setup was the ultimate in sound quality.  And as a perfectionist she continued to argue it would therefore be not only reasonable but logical and sensible to also buy an identical stereo to upgrade her sound system in the out of town country home just outside of London!



Now you may rile against this circumstantial question as first world preposterous, but surely, we all have areas in our life of duplication.  It could be your business shoes  (recalling that to allow a shoe to breathe it should not be worn on successive days),  of perhaps just your underwear...

One day you come across a revolutionary more comfortable underwear design.  Do you replace your entire inventory with the new style, or just do it incrementally? ....


The Case for Duplication
I like to have the best, and so when I find it, then naturally I will choose to have it everywhere. Wherever practical and without exception.  If I discover X and currently have an inventory of Y, then surely Y should be phased out asap.




The Case for Not Duplication
The idea is that you are passionate about variety and that that you believe that duplication makes the mind lazy.  You revel in the difference between the operation of your microwave in London compared to Luxembourg.

So The Exceptions
Marcus can easily cite Hard Disks as an obvious exception, in fact computers in general.  Hard disks primary and backup are always from different manufacturers to guard against defects arising from a single brand.

You can generalise this to many technology items which you rely upon and could fail on mass with a design or software update error.


Strategies

Duplicate Everything
In this scenario cost is either no barrier or you are sufficiently OCD to always duplicate.  So if you change the washing machine in London, then you also identically change the Washing machine in Switzerland.


Try to Duplicate
You try really hard to duplicate, but at the more expensive scale you might let things slip.  You might have a Smart Car in London and a Ferrari in Switzerland, but you would strongly prefer to keep your Race Bicycles synchronised in each apartment.


Hand Me Down
This is a popular strategy but can lead to complications for multi home or possession ownership.

Here when you buy a new thing e.g. TV, you ripple down the old TV to your second best apartment.

Complications might arise if you say had 4 homes, so buying a new TV might result in rippling down 3 TV's to other locations and discarding the worst TV in the worst apartment.


Try Not to Duplicate
You try never to duplicate but for trivial things like underwear, or gloves you are prepared to make a few exceptions.


Duplicate Nothing
You pride yourself on never duplicating and like the challenge of difference.  All your business shoes are from different suppliers and every one of your undergarments is different in some way from colour to manufacturer to style.  You hate duplication with a passion.


Take It With You No Duplication
So far we've talked about having multiple types of X for two different reasons.   When it comes to underwear it's basically hygiene, but when it comes to say a coffee machine or say a car (in to different apartments) it's just a convenience.

So the least footprint option is of course to take it with you!  This can just about work with your clothes, maybe a bicycle, and even a coffee machine.  But practically speaking if you live in two different apartments  (say your family home and your work apartment far away) the /Take it With You/ option can only get you so far.

Duplication of some sort is going to be inevitable.


Summary
So,  for Marcus and Agata, on our Intergalactic travels we are /Hand Me Down/ and /Try to Duplicate/ people.  As the picture shows the investment in a second exercise mat to use whilst on holiday from the local IKEA, is testament both to our economy but also our attention to detail.   Long may it continue.