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I want my five dollars back?
July 22, 2008 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Fivedollarcomparison.org is a collaborative photo project designed by a number of Nokia researchers to understand the buying power of 5 dollars across the world. The goal of this project is vague: to understand how culture, context and communication might change the world. Post your own example here. Sample photo.
posted by |n$eCur3 (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you for posting this, Insecure (sorry I'm feeling a tad lazy to do the special characters) - i'm doing research on values and buyer behaviour at the bottom of the pyramid and this is perfect!
posted by infini at 5:30 PM on July 22, 2008


Site's moving slowly enough to think it's being served on a $5 Commodore 64.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:36 PM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's the healthy version of The Economist's Big Mac Index.
posted by Zambrano at 5:49 PM on July 22, 2008


How many pictures of Subway and Quizno's footlongs?
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:22 PM on July 22, 2008


Well, there's a grainy picture of a footlong in a back alley attached to a tranny, but I don't think it's a sandwich.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:17 PM on July 22, 2008


Well, there's a grainy picture of a footlong in a back alley attached to a tranny, but I don't think it's a sandwich.

I am trying so, so hard not to make a joke involving buns.
posted by Justinian at 7:26 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think they paid about $5 for bandwidth ...
posted by 5MeoCMP at 8:13 PM on July 22, 2008


$5 in Burma would buy me a clean private hotel room for the night, with ensuite, fresh towels & sheets, and a breakfast consisting of eggs done however, toast, butter & jam, as much coffee as I wanted, cordial, a few kinds of fresh fruit, a little cake & sometimes an avocado as big as a football.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:49 PM on July 22, 2008


Five dollars = jokey comments on blue website for life!
posted by jimmythefish at 9:19 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I'd buy that for five dollars!
posted by Sam.Burdick at 9:54 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Five dollars = jokey comments on blue website for life! until bannination!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:05 PM on July 22, 2008


It would be nice if their oh-so-cutting edge javascript gallery didn't make it impossible to read some of the explanations. Simplicity is sometimes a good thing. (So is not breaking Flickr's TOS.)
posted by Dreama at 12:55 AM on July 23, 2008


Ah very interesting site.

Curious that they selected five dollars as their reference point, as we know that there are roughly one billion people living on one dollar a day or less [.pdf]. And the same source shows that an alarming forty percent of the planet's population lives on two dollars a day or less!

Still an interesting experiment though - thanks for posting.
posted by Mutant at 1:55 AM on July 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Five dollars bought just enough of my time at $65/hr to move past loathing the achingly slow and precious slide show interface into burning hatred for web designers who don't actually use their own product. Pretty good deal, actually. I often don't bother to hang around past "this sucks."
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:32 AM on July 23, 2008


What a great concent, and horrible, horrible execution. What use is a bunch of decontextualized pictures? Where are these pictures from? When were they taken? What are they of? I don't just want to *see* the purchasing power of $5, I want to know something about it. Too bad someone couldn't do this in a more useful way for the curious.
posted by mrmojoflying at 5:07 AM on July 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


You want to execute your great concent quickly, so it doesn't suffer.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:44 AM on July 23, 2008


Well in Zimbabwe, $100 billion will buy you less than half a loaf of bread. The government just printed a $100bn note but is now worried they cannot get any more currency paper. People must line up at a bank for hours to get their daily withdrawal allowance which doesn't even cover the cost of their time lining up. And you thought you had inflation problems.
posted by binturong at 10:50 AM on July 23, 2008


Well it's an interesting idea, I wish the site would load so I could check it out.

I don't remember who started it, but it's now a thing among me and my friends that when you start telling a pointless story that just keeps going, you can wrap it up with "then I found five dollars." At least that way it has some sort of closure.

So the other morning I woke up to find my kitchen overrun with fruit flies, mostly focused on the garbage which was overdue. I set out a glass of vinegar and dish detergent (which really works BTW), got the infested trash out to the dumpster, and on the way back inside actually found five dollars! I think I spent it on coffee, which isn't as cool as this, but is way better than this.
posted by Who_Am_I at 7:04 AM on July 24, 2008


What a great concent, and horrible, horrible execution. What use is a bunch of decontextualized pictures? Where are these pictures from? When were they taken? What are they of? I don't just want to *see* the purchasing power of $5, I want to know something about it. Too bad someone couldn't do this in a more useful way for the curious.
posted by mrmojoflying


Agree on the slow loading speed, disagree on the execution. The photo's are decontextualized, i'm hazarding a guess, because Nokia Design would like to share but not give away everything they've prolly invested in this project. They'll do their own analysis based on their existing knowledge. Their list of people involved includes Jan Chipchase, and I'd bet he could just figure shit out based on sorting it by country and date (which is why they've not shared that info on the site maybe?) Although it jsut struck me that flickr captures the date the photo was taken and prolly being tagged by country too.

Otoh, if there's anyone reading from Nokia, I'd suggest using 5 local currency units and the date purchased, imho, that'd be more relevant as PPP changes - also as someone has pointed out, there's a billion or more living on less than a $1 a day plus the dollar is losing value.
posted by infini at 4:52 AM on July 25, 2008


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