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Two discoveries
james_nicoll
Vimes' Law applies to toilet paper.

I think the stuff that was on sale at Zehrs is actually lower grade than single-ply. If the paper was any thinner, it would be non-existent.

You're saying that if you buy an expensive roll of toilet paper, you can use it for the next ten years?

Not quite but it will last much longer per dollar spent than the cheap stuff.

Not true around here. The cheap double-ply stuff is a third of the price of the average priced paper (usefully they're required to indicate how much each sheet costs, probably some EU law). So even doubled over it costs 2/3 the price.

Five years for most people. The additional five require a fanatical devotion to thrift.

Considering sanitary towels used to be reusable, you'd really think that there'd have been some form of arsekerchief that had a small but dedicated subculture of collectors and assorted memorabilia fanatics hanging around somewhere.

You can still get reusable STs, they just don't have P&Gs advertising budget so you don't hear about them so much.

And then of course there are Mooncups so you don't even need the heavier duty washing chemicals. That might be a more logical arsekerchief if it were elastic enough :)

They still are. I still have mine, even though I don't need them anymore. I just washed them in hot water.

Vimes' Law? Google doesn't help me here.

From here:
...Why pay for Windows when you, as a major bank, could do everything OpenSource? Why buy expensive clothes when you could replace cheap ones more often. Ok, so the last one is a spurious argument, but into this comes what Terry Pratchett calls "Vime's Law". To whit: a poor person buying a $5 pair of boots will spend more in a life time than a rich person who buys a long lasting $50 pair. I wonder how much of that effect would come into low cost sats for business critical operations?

From Terry Pratchett (I think Men at Arms), that it's cheaper to buy one really high-quality thing (in the novel, a pair of boots) that will last for ten years than ten low-quality things, each of which will last for a year; the corollary is that people without much money, who can't afford the initial capital cost to buy the high-quality thing, are further impoverished as a result of this phenomenon.

Although this is not always true, as planned obsolescence and design-to-break-and-be-replaced has infected even relatively high-end goods in certain markets. And it's impossible to read fashion pages without sooner or later coming on a complaint about how high-end designer clothing is either shoddily made on a basic level or made from material so delicate as to be impossible to clean without damage.

And actually, Vimes' example of shoes is not a very good one. My shoes wear out in 2 years. Period. It doesn't matter if they are cheap or expensive, 2 years and the soles self-destruct. Same with any other clothing item - lifespan depends on how long it takes me to tear/abrade/spill acid on them (or in the case of hats and gloves, lose them), and has virtually no relation to cost.

Vimes's example is supposed to be generalizable to things, but not to boots -- the "boots" thing is specifc to HIS boots. And to the exceedingly shoddy quality of boots that he'd been able to afford as a constable in Ankh-Morpork.

Actually, he's not entirely comfortable with the good boots -- he can no longer feel the different textures of the cobblestones in the different neighborhoods through the soles of his boots . . .

The sort of expensive shoes Vimes is talkin about are custom made for the rich though, who would never dream of buying anything that had been premade for just anyone.

OTOH...I used to do my bushwalking in traditional leather hiking boots (Scarpa Trek); these days I use lightweight trail runners (Salomon Exit Aero etc.) or sandshoes (Dunlop Volleys).

I've still got my original pair of $350 boots from about ten years ago (and they've still got a decade or two worth of wear in them), but the trail runners (~$100, or $40 for the Volleys) need to be replaced every year or two, as the uppers disintegrate and the soles delaminate.

And I went through three cheap motorcycle tank-bags before finally biting the bullet and getting one with decent zippers.

After a couple of pairs of cheap shoes which self-destructed within a few *months*, I forked out the money for some proper shoes which, even when the soles wear out, I can get resoled. I ought to polish them more regularly to put this plan fully into effect though.

Shirts and skirts, otoh, I'm with you - I've got some lovely clothes I can no longer wear due to stains from spilled kimchi, chocolate liqueur filling, and other mysterious substances.

Yep. I just discovered this week that the rubber waterproof parts of my year-old pair of Sorel Caribous are starting to split. These are $140 boots. If I can't find the receipt to get them replaced soon, I'll be breaking out the bicycle tube repair kit.

You're confusing "good" with "luxury". Luxury items are built for form, not function.

Thanks to all who 'splained it to me. I've read Pratchett (of course), but tend to favor the Witches (including Tiffany Aching) and the Death stories over the Watch stories.

Toilet paper is not of those things not worth skimping on in my experience.

Edited at 2009-01-27 05:07 pm (UTC)

Yeah...especially when you're having bowel issues...

There was a short-short many years ago about a scientist who notes that the likelihood of toilet paper ripping along the holes was decreased by making the paper thinner. Therefore, removing all the paper would make the holes infinitely strong and so useful for making impenetrable force fields.

He makes a killing when he discovers that he can even just remove the same paper over and over again from different holes.

Unless there were two stories with that identical premise, it wasn't a short-short. The story I know is "It Was Nothing -- Really!" by Sturgeon.

I profess amazement that the premise can be expanded beyond 1000 words.

Don't forget wet feet.

(Anonymous)

2009-02-03 05:02 pm (UTC)

One of the most important parts of the argument for quality boots is that while the poor guy over time,will spend as much on the cheap pairs of boots as he would have on the one pair of quality boots, he will spend a lot of the time with wet feet.(as the poor quality leak)