the inefficiency of efficiency

I enjoy XKCD, and the latest comic [Link] is about something people in OR can relate to: efficiency. I actually have been known to do this from time to time. When I saw this, I thought it would be a great tool for potential graduate students. If they like this chart and have crunched similar numbers, maybe an advanced degree in OR is right for them.

On a related note, I liked to read Carl Sagan books when I was in college. A biography of Carl Sagan indicated that he once criticized his (then) wife for her inefficiency in preparing breakfast. He told her how much time he would have to spend waiting for her inefficiency over his lifetime (it was about a one minute of waiting a day). I thought his calculations were insightful but could understand why someone else would not appreciate the message (especially when Carl should have been making his own breakfast!). The marriage ended in  divorce. Efficiency can be beautiful, but it’s not always something we should strive for.

2 responses to “the inefficiency of efficiency

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