Opportunity Cost [Weekly Head Voices #52]

On Thursday July 14, 2011, it rained for 20.5 hours straight, and it did so from all directions at the same time (yes, apparently also in the upwards direction as my wet socks will attest). The last time it rained this much on one day, was on July 17, 1954, as confirmed by the paper this weekend. I believe I might also have broken several swearing records (in terms of duration, variation, originality and vehemence) whilst struggling through the water on my bicycle, on my way to my work.

I think the Dutch climate is just trying to remind us that it’s just really not nice, and that this “summer” that others speak of is merely a figment of their imagination. Probably for the purpose of wound-focused salt-rubbing, the weather every so often does have its moments, like this morning in my garden when I managed to photograph some bees doing their thing in the few minutes that the sun timidly managed to appear before being assertively occluded by infinitely high stacks of angry-looking clouds:

Besides complaining about the weather, I did want to discuss briefly with you an interesting economic concept, a concept that I’ve decreed will henceforth go through life as a  backyard philosophical idea. The idea that I’m on about is called opportunity cost, and refers to the cost that one incurs engaging in an activity, measured in terms of the best alternative that one could have engaged in otherwise. For example, if you’re sitting around refreshing your Twitter / Google+ / Facebook  instead of implementing a new and improved type of internet-connected sliced bread, potentially worth ONE BILLION DOLLARS, the opportunity cost of your social networking addiction at that point is, you guessed it, ONE BILLION DOLLARS. I really like the idea that Friedrich von Wieser named this phenomenon (that I have previously unknowingly touched upon) and will henceforth apply it liberally. So if I walk away from a conversation, mumbling something along the lines of ONE BILLION DOLLARS, you know why. Seriously though, it is good to keep this idea in mind in everything that you do, especially since cost can be measured in ways other than hard currency.

… and now for something completely different:

I have recently received the joyous news that a certain musical genius and his mind-blowing audio-visual spectacle are planning to be present at a certain festival that is soon to take place:

Just sayin’.