Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Not sure if serious or joking.

You don't stand up every now and then to stretch your legs?

You don't take a sip of coffee or tea or water periodically?

You don't ever run out of ink or pens or paper and have to get new ones?

You don't ever check your email or flip through math journals looking for interesting new papers being published?

You don't ever turn on a computer or turn it off/put it to sleep?

These are all repetitive tasks and I have a hard time imagining you do none of them or anything like them in your work life.

You don't refresh HN ever to see if there are new stories related to your pure math?

You don't ever type your ideas into a document and email it to someone?

You don't ever log in to any financial account to view balances?

You don't ever check your phone to see if someone has texted or if there is an important message waiting?

You don't ever spin a pen on your fingers while you think?

You don't ever pace around while thinking?

You don't ever have something online you have to manually log into to check for work? Vacation days? Researcher collaborations? Grant results? Nothing?

You don't have to get gas to fill up your car tank? Do you work remotely? You don't have to check the bus schedule or wait for the subway? Doing the same thing every day that doesn't really require your mental energy - like filling up your tank of gas on the way to work - is something I would call repetitive.

You don't ever click on links to open video chats or type in phone numbers to make phone calls?




The keyword should be "tedious", not just repetitive. I wouldn't want a machine to automate my getting up and stretching or making and drinking a coffee, those are activities that are arguably needed to keep oneself sane while working.


Maybe you don't want such a machine, but I sure do! And I consider all of those things tedious, and repetitive. I get that not every startup idea or problem-solution set is for everyone - but come on, I'm out here pitching dozens of real-world relatable problems that real people have.

I honestly don't believe that there are people with 0 repetitive tasks in their lives that could see no improvements with software (or hardware?). It's just not possible.


Like I said, not repetitive, tedious. And tediousness is purely subjective. So I agree with you that we should have machines to do tedious tasks for us, I just don't agree that the tasks I mentioned are tedious for enough people to justify having a machine for them.


You forgot "breathing" and "peeing". Maybe a startup could solve these repetitive time wasters


Sure. I don't see why not? Peeing is an enormous time sink on humanity and would be absolutely ground-breaking if a startup could make signifiant progress there.

If you were being sarcastic and intentionally telling me to stop being creative and thinking big-picture, please don't do that. I hate when HN just shuts down all creative thinking with sarcastic laughter.

I don't see breathing as a tedious repetitive task because it happens mostly automatically and can be done in parallel with other work quite easily. But I could be wrong and I suppose there's room for improvement there too. CO2 detectors and air quality monitors in meeting rooms - as a standard - would likely boost productivity and reduce other tedious work as employees will be able to breathe easier (with better knowledge about CO2 in the office, more efforts for improved ventilation would likely happen).


To me your list sounded like you were making fun of the previous poster. Very "small picture"


I'm not making fun of anyone! To me it sounds like the poster is making fun of all of us fools who have repetitive tasks in our lives.

> 'What repetitive tasks do you do?'

> 'None. I'm in pure math'

...just seems snarky and condescending. I'm listing real problems that most people have, that are indeed repetitive, mostly work-related, and could have solutions (at least partial solutions).


I think the issue is that most people don't see many of the items on your list as either solvable, or something that gets in the way of work or other activities. But one item on the list did stick out for me -- pens/paper. Back when I worked for a catalog / contract office supply place (there used to be a bunch of small ones back before the mid 90's), they had a company that they worked with which would go out to customers and manage their office supply closet inventory for them. And automatically place orders for anything that was running low. Was a real time saver for many of our customers back then.


I wouldn't consider any of those tasks repetitive.

Well your first batch, you added more after I commented.


Oh I'm still adding. I consider them all repetitive, but it's okay to debate some or most. The point is I'm guessing about a stranger's life and I'm bound to hit on some repetitive tasks they do.

The answer 'none' is just condescending to the point of silly and it's obviously not true. I'm hoping to illuminate how there are repetitive patterns in everyone's life. Even 'pure math researchers'.


I think you're interpreting the original question too broadly. Based on the follow-up, the question was meant to mean "what repetitive tasks do you do at work that can be automated through software?"


So the commenter is on HN, but has literally zero (0) things that could be automated through software in their life? I just don't believe it's true.

Sorry if some of my guesses were not in line with the question directly.


what's so bad about repetition anyway? It's like grabbing a hammer and scouring a building looking for loose nails to justify its use. why not focus on difficult problems instead?




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: