Thursday, March 17, 2016

Heavy Metal

The ancient Okidata laser printer refused to print. The error codes on the primitive liquid crystal display insisted that the cartridges, fuser, and other electronics be replaced. Getting new parts would cost more than $300, the approximate cost of an entirely new model.

The printer was bulky and weighed over 50 pounds. It was an anchor, and not just a metaphorical one. I took it to the PARCA Donation Center in Redwood City. Clearing the clutter can be difficult but in this case it was easy.

Caution: clutter is not unequivocally bad. [bold added]
In one study, Kathleen Vohs, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota, took 48 subjects individually into two types of rooms—one messy (with loose papers and pens strewn around the desk and floor) and one that was spic-and-span. She had the subjects do a classic test of creativity: Generate new uses for a Ping-Pong ball. When her team scored the results, the subjects who’d worked at a messy desk in a messy room were 28 percent more creative than those in the tidy environment. “When things are tidy, people adhere more to what’s expected of them,” Vohs says. “When things are messier, they break free from norms.”
Sorry, dear, I can't be creative if I'm picking up all the time.

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