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Applying Vimes’ Boot Theory whenever possible

I just renewed my bookmarking service for ten years. I was a huge fan of before Yahoo, destroyer of all things Internet, trashed it. I moved onto and have been using the service since January 18, 2010. It’s like having my own focused search engine. And it archives the site that I bookmark so if the site ever goes away, I still have a copy of it similar to the way works. What does 13 years of curating bookmarks look like?

Bookmark archiving is on. It will expire on November 2, 2033. 34960 of your bookmarks have been archived, representing 91% of your collection.

This consumes 75.35 G of disk space.

3122 bookmarks have not been stored due to errors:

not found699
bad request1503
server error741

Pinboard also used to automatically record all my Tweets. Of course, Muskrat ruined that as it would now cost Pinboard over $40,000 per month for access to the API.

What’s is Vimes’ Boot Theory?

The Sam Vimes “Boots” theory of socioeconomic unfairness, often called simply the boots theory, is an economic theory that people in poverty have to buy cheap and subpar products that need to be replaced repeatedly, proving more expensive in the long run than more expensive items. The term was popularized by English fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett in his 1993 Discworld novel Men at Arms.

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money. Take boots, for example. … A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.”

While not wealthy, I am trying to apply Vimes’ Boots Theory where I can. For instance, LinkedIn’s annual billing will save you 50% over monthly billing. Cancelling LinkedIn’s paid service will save you 100% but that’s a different topic. If using the Boots Theory saves you $6 per year on a bookmarking service you may wonder if it is worth it. The answer is yes because 1) I now don’t have to worry about a bill from Pinboard for a decade. I just go into OmniFocus to my Finance project and under the task I put the deadline as “10 years” and OmniFocus automatically calculates the next due date. And 2) while only $6 if I did the same for 10 services then that’s $60 per year savings. The truth is using this approach is similar to snowballing debt. The little numbers add up to thousands very quickly. It’s like the small differences in the grocery stores. A person on a very tight budget may have to purchase the smaller bottle of ketchup which has a higher price per ounce than a larger bottle of ketchup. We nickel and dime the poor to death.

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