Sunday, May 19, 2013

Soylent: Day 2

"The peculiar task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."

You reading this blog see the end results of my projects in flowing, majestic words that resonate with your very souls. You do not see the struggle and suffering that has resulted in the twisted, burning wreckage of a weekend. My fire-hardened soul can endure much, but even it reaches a limit and said limit has been reached. After spending the weekend attempting to create soylent; a product intended to be cheap, convenient, nutritionally complete, and passibly edible (that last was implied, though insufficiently so), my creations were defeated in comparison to a sandwich.

At the outset I posted a little question on Reddit, asking why large companies, like the petfood companies who would be seemingly well placed to create this, had not begun to manufacture Soylent. The answer is, in the first place, because making it and making it palatable is a non-trivial task. The famous inventors are the Hank Reardens who stay up all night and toil for years over a labor of love, while I have trouble finishing a blog post about dead people.

I remain vaguely convinced that a food scientist with three months and a large budget could put something together that satisfied most of the criteria, but even if that is true, the expected value is pretty low, since a Soylent Lifestyle would require a heavy marketing campaign to convince people that it was worthwhile in the first place and would still have a high risk of failure.

Soylent isn't impossible, nor, I think, is it undesireable. But at present it is more effort than I am willing to expend. I hold out hope for Rhinehart's project, but until then, I think I will get some tacos.

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