Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Roomba, Cat, Human: A comparative analysis of my apartment's economy

Roomba Cat Human
Effect on floor Cleans floor. Makes floor dirtier: cat hair, litter particles, etc. Makes floor dirtier: hair, skin particles, food crumbs, etc.
Food Feeds self: docks at charging unit when it is low on energy. Cannot feed self: dependent on human to manage food intake, or else he gets incredibly fat. Feeds self: from takeout, grocery store, or free food at work.
Hygiene Cannot clean self: dependent on human to clean brushes. Cleans self: with tongue. Cleans self: with fixtures in bathroom.
Waste Cannot eliminate own waste: dependent on human to empty dust compartments. Eliminates own waste: in litterbox. Eliminates own waste: in toilet.
Money Cannot pay for self: dependent on human to pay for electricity. Cannot pay for self: dependent on human to pay for food, litter, etc. Pays for self: supports apartment economy through cash inflows from outside job.

Conclusions:

  • If Roomba could clean itself and eliminate its own waste, it would be strictly more functional than Cat.
  • If Cat could regulate its own food intake and get a job, it would be functionally equivalent to Human.
  • Relationship between Roomba and Human is clearly mutualistic. By contrast, relationship between Cat and Human appears to be strictly parasitic, or else involve some exchange that is not captured by this analysis.