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Evan Paul

Professor Phoebe

English 1001

September 10, 2019

“Saved Time and Saved Lives”; The True Measure of Time’s Worth

What is the true measure of somethings worth? It’s weight, how shinny it is, how about

how it’s viewed in society, or even it’s current demand? These are all good points and are

considered, but what if I were to tell you the true measure of something’s worth is all based on

time? When I say time, I do not mean an object’s worth changes based on what time of day it is,

but on how much time was used and how it was used to acquire it. The use of time does not just

stop at the worth of something, but it can also decide the quality of one’s life.

When looking at how time effects the quality of one’s life, it’s a simple question: how

efficiently are you using your time throughout the day? As said by the authors of Abundance in

the section “Saved Time and Saved Lives,” “Each of us starts with the same twenty-four hours in

the day. How we utilize those hours determines the quality of our lives” (Diamandis and Kotler

40). Showing that people who tend to use their twenty-four hours more wisely should start to live

a more well-rounded life. The authors also go further with this idea by comparing the dangers of

using electricity for lighting, to the use of lanterns for lighting. When compared to using

electricity, people will spend less time worrying about the health risks as well as the potential

repairs, such as your barn burning down when using a lantern. Which in theory will allow you to

utilize your time more efficiently by allowing you to accomplish more while your day goes on

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When looking at the major advancements in technology that have been made in our

world, stopping at electricity and not going further to transportation is inefficient. The

importance of transportation is also brought up by the authors of Abundance in the section

“Saved Time and Saved Lives” by showing how a trip from Boston to Chicago has drastically

improved from the 1800s to present day. Diamandis and Kotler claim, “In the 1800s, going from

Boston to Chicago via stagecoach took two weeks’ time and a month’s wages. Today it takes

two hours and a day’s wage” (41). It’s a no brainer. The present-day trip from Boston to Chicago

has saved a considerable amount of money plus over three hundred hours to be used to help

yourself through life.

Furthering the importance of transportation, look at another example brought up by

Diamandis and Kotler of how the advancements in transportation have improved quality of life.

They continue to describe a Norwegian adventure with the name of Thor Heyerdahl, who went

on a sailing trip from Peru to Hawaii in 1947 that took a grand total of 101 days. In a 747, which

is a commercial jet airliner, it takes fifteen hours to make that same trip. Which will save 100,

days, as well as decreasing the chance of death (41). This is great because with the creation of

the 747, it not only decreased the trip duration by a total of 100 days, but now added a new

improvement which is the decrease in chance of death. When looking deeper into the past two

examples. There has been an unspoken theme of “Saved Time” for both, which is also discussed

in Abundance (40).

Now that saved time has bas been discovered, it is easier to explain how time can affect

the worth of an object. Let’s say Diamandis and Kotler both decide to travel from the same town

in Utah, to the same mountain in Colorado, to gather gold to sell. Kotler decides to travel by

walking, which will take him four days to get to Colorado, when Diamandis travels by use of a
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horse and gets there in two days. Diamandis has saved two days’ worth of time and puts it to use

by gathering one ton of gold by the time Kotler gets there. By now Diamandis has a total of two

days saved and one ton of gold, while Kotler has saved no time and gathered no gold. Both will

stay for two days and acquire one ton of gold each and will leave with their same choice of

transportation. Diamandis has now saved four days, with an amount of two tons of gold. While

Kotler has still saved no time with only one ton of gold. Lastly, both go to sell they have

acquired from the trip for the same exact price, but when considering the four days Diamandis

saved over the whole trip he in theory made his gold worth four times the normal amount due to

him spending less time to acquire it.

Let me ask one more time, what’s the true measure of somethings worth? It should now

be an easy answer. After exploring the importance of new lighting advancements that improved

health risks and productivity. To a comparison of a trip from Boston to Chicago in the 1800s to

present day that saved time and money, and a trip made by Thor Heyerdahl from Peru to Hawaii

that also saved time and decreased chance of death. To lastly how the undiscussed discovery of

saved time can in theory increase the value of somethings worth, due to spending less time to

acquire it. When considering all of the examples that have been shown, the final decision on the

question above is clearly time. The beautiful thing is that it will only get easier and easier to find

saved time as the years go on, and it’s all made possible with the rapid discoveries in new

technology as well as in transportation.

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Work Cited

Diamandis, Peter, and Steven Kotler, Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. Free

Press, 2014.