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The never-ending ratchet of conspicuous consumption

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Nate D, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    This hit home with all of our threads about gear and GAS. If you need me I’m going to go play some guitar and not worry if it’s strung with the right strings or played through the right amp or played with the right technique. I’m going to challenge my inner 20 year old self and play for myself and for the edification of music that inspires me and, hopefully, lands well with others. Great post by Seth.

    It used to be that a well-tended lawn of 50 by 100 feet was wasteful indeed. Today, it’s in the by-laws of the local housing association. You could impress the neighbors with a new Cadillac, now you not only need a Tesla, but you need a new Tesla. And you could show off by flying first class, but then you needed to charter a plane, then charter a jet, then charter a bigger jet, then buy a fractional share, then own the whole thing, then get a bigger one and on and on.

    Conspicuous consumption is not absolute, it’s relative.

    It’s sort of a selfish potlatch, in which each person seeks to demonstrate status, at whatever the personal or societal cost, by out-consuming the others.

    Social networks have simplify amplified this desire, at the same time they simplified the execution. Now you can waste time and dignity instead of money. Who can you tear down? How much time can you waste? What’s it worth to you to have more followers than the others?

    It’s a lousy game, because if you lose, you lose, and if you win, you also lose.

    The only way to do well is to refuse to play.

    Earning trust outperforms earning envy.

    - Seth Godwin

    https://seths.blog/2019/08/the-never-ending-ratchet-of-conspicuous-consumption/
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  2. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I agree. Consumption for the sake of consumption – rather than meeting a need – is a hideous and destructive thing. It is also destroying the planet. We should all try to use less, and adopt a 'make do' mentality when it comes to whether we really need more 'stuff'.
     
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  3. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I live in a quite modest house in a small neighborhood of modest houses. The new developments all around me feature houses three times the size of mine. Did people get a lot bigger the last few years???
     
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  4. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    It has also been quite entertaining to be run off the road by exotic cars rather than regular cars. Really makes the area impressive.
     
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  5. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yes they did, and that is another consequence of the 'consumption for the sake of it' cycle. Sorry, I know that wasn't the point you were making, but if we keep getting conned into this excessive behavior, we can end up a lot worse off. In the UK, this generation is the first who will die younger than their parents, on average, mainly due to excessive consumption of unhealthy food and drink.
     
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  6. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Well, we have done that for a couple of generations already. We are leaders.
     
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  7. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast Strat-Talk Supporter

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    This is rampant and ugly here too. I believe in the future, we will not be known as the Information Age, but the Garbage Age. Conspicuous or not.

    6a458ed484efab54c191c9b77f1083ad.jpg
     
  8. sgarnett

    sgarnett Strat-O-Master

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    Food is an aspect of waste that particularly bothers me. If you think about it, a lot of restaurants are routinely serving meals that would have once been the stuff of festivals, holidays, and celebrations. The production of all that food from land and sea is taking its toll.
     
  9. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Not to sound like a geezer even though I'm inches away but prosperity in general has always caused excessive consumption in some groups, nothing new here. Now it's just the norm to HAVE TO HAVE a new $1000 iphone and upgrade to every new model that comes out for example.

    Now for the geezer part: Manners and common courtesy are dying with the millennials, I encounter this daily. I know I know each generation says the same about the new generation but we are in a totally new world now. Some good, some not good.

    Now here's the big enchilada, the 64 strat question: I paid more for my motorcycle than my parents paid for their house in 1961, am I an excessive consumer? Quite possibly so depending on how you look at it. But I'm a nice guy and treat people good so there's that.

    Oh, and you should see my front lawn. I don't water it in the summer and it looks dead but the winter rains bring it back nice and lush green. Occasionally I get asked "why don't you water your lawn?" My response is always the same "Cuz it looks fine to me".

    Like Michael Corleone said in GF II "we're all part of the same hypocrisy" (I love Godfather quotes)

    My point is.....search within yourself and question your values daily.
     
  10. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    the biggest dollar earner i know owns a storage facility.

    they have many millions of dollars of assets and a whopper of a cash flow machine since several hundreds of people pay them monthly to store stuff they do not have room for anymore and may never use again.

    the storage place owners themselves have an astounding level of waste and they are actually living way, way, way under their means.

    people that lived through depressions would fall over if they saw how even the poor live in america.

    i have more waste than i should also.
     
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  11. ghostwolf

    ghostwolf Mod Admin

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    Not to worry too much. Nature WILL balance out, regardless of what we do.
    And she ALWAYS bats last...
     
  12. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog INMATE #7XX7XX7 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  13. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I think I’m missing the point of this thread. I never water my lawn...

    If you work hard and can afford stuff your a bad person?

    If you provided a good life for your wife and kids your a bad person?

    If I live at 203 Strats R Us Way I’m a bad person?

    Nobody gave me nothing! Not one guitar! I paid for my own education. My Dad cleaned out the boxcars at the train yard and my Mom was a janitor in the office building in the evening. When I was old enough I went and helped her.... while my friends played after school. We was always clean and fed but nothing extravagant believe me. I wore my brothers hand me downs as I grew into them. Never given a car or anything like that.... any Strarter Pack Strat is why why better then my first guitars.

    Are we just consumers on a never ending road to “What To Buy Next?” Well I’m sure many of us are. But some of us just see it as rewards for a life of hard work. Can’t wait to buy that Corvette!

    Yeah and when we are gone the planet well wash us off and start all over again.
     
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  14. CigBurn

    CigBurn Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Existentialism is rough sport.
     
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  15. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Some threads don't need a point. Nate is just sharing something that struck a chord with him and the rest of us are merely joining in the conversation with our own points of view. :)
     
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  16. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Oh Ok?
     
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  17. CigBurn

    CigBurn Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Man I can relate. Old man was a janitor, spent many nights cleaning car dealerships or office buildings as a kid (6-14), it was how he was able to do more than one site a night. Mom was a school lunch lady. And the rest is pretty much identical to your story. Nothing, nothing was handed out except older siblings clothes, no cars, no sports activities, etc. While mom worked in the cafeteria, we still had to pack lunch, crackers with peanut butter usually and the two cents for a milk. No blame and no regrets, but it is a different world view that develops compared to kids I knew who had more comfortable childhoods.
     
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  18. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog INMATE #7XX7XX7 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    When I was in college & got interested in Anthropology and such, I got to thinking. Well, here archeologists spend all this time and grant money & what not digging up the past trying to figure out the past, why can't we use those same techniques & apply it to today's world. Like say a multidisciplinary approach, to identify our dysfunctions, (societies) take the best of academic humanities, do some brainstorming & problem solve the here and now.

    I must have dozed off there class, I'm awake now. Hope no one rats me out. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    One of my interests and still is to a degree is cultural anthropology. Wanted to be a sociologist when I was young and that was one of the required courses. In a nutshell: people really haven't changed much.
     
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  20. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Sticker bushes and Posy rules! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Your the man cig :thumb:
     
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