Favorite tools of You Are Not So Smart author David McRaney


I loved the idea of the keysmart when it hit kickstarter, but it’s about 60 years too late for my needs.

My parents used these things in the 50s and 60s, which are sort of like a keysmart that doesn’t tear holes in cheap pocket linings:

But now I have four giant black blobs of plastic on my keyring, because my workplace no longer uses physical keys, and because vehicle keys aren’t unique any more - they are just a means of holding an RF widget close to the reader, and increasingly they aren’t even that, the huge plastic blob stays in your pocket and the “emergency key” is secreted away inside the widget, which is studded with buttons (that periodically get pressed by things jangling about in my pocketses).

The keysmart would only hold the few remaining old-style keys for my tractors and toolboxes and such, and they are no longer a problem compared to the fist-sized wad of button-smothered black plastic I need to carry around.

Japanese key hooks are one answer (I think this horrible trend in keys comes from Japan, so I guess they had to deal with it already) but they just move the crap out of your pocket, saving your pocket lining but instead banging against chairs and bannisters.

So I still don’t see a real good way of carrying my keys around. The car vendors are anticipating a move to using smart phones to control car access, so they can get in on some of that monthly telco bill gravy, but I don’t have a portable phone and don’t want one, so my cars are already larded up with useless, inelegant phone-oriented gadgetry.

Mark it up as a first-world problem, I guess.

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