Specs – or “specifications” really still play a role
Specs – or “specifications” really still play a role (you want the “best”)
As a sort of followup to yesterdays Bike Lane Safety post – I wanted to elaborate a bit more about the superficial consumerism phenomenon.
I mentioned in that post – how I literally suffered on my journey to absolutely GET what I desperately wanted. A new CD player in the mid-1980’s. When I was just a teenager.
But as I thought more about my life back then – it opened up many “memory doors” to my past, and offered some insight to today – for us, as well as most of you.
Why did I feel so desperate to get that “thing?”
For one, we read magazines. I believe they were called Stereo Review – as well as High Fidelity.
Not sure how I got into these mags – but they played a real role in influencing my life.
However they were written – or whatever pictures or charts they used – made me really WANT consumer goods. True mainstream media manipulation now that I look back at it. I was a lemming to their manipulation. I wish I had some of those (magazines) still. I’d like to re-read them with the knowledge we have today.
Specs – specifications – and the best of the best
Like any review between products today – there are a ton of different specs to compare.
And it is human nature to want the best if you can afford it.
Whether it’s horsepower, cubic feet, or miles per gallon – people tend to always feel crappy if they have to “settle” for less than they know is available. Just out of their reach.
The same held true for audio equipment. Whether it was “distortion,” or “wow and flutter,” or “dynamic range,” or “signal to noise ratio,” most aficionados felt dismayed if they only had the money for a somewhat “inferior” product. Because of marketing.
Today, it’s “dpi,” or “resolution,” or “megahertz,” or “gigabytes,” or “megapixels.” The racket is the same, just the terminology has changed.
In retrospect – and if you really think about it – almost any gadget or technology in a particular field (at least back in the day) was almost indistinguishable between them. It was our own minds playing tricks on us. They all sounded great in reality.
Sure, there were some crappy sound systems or speakers – that thanks to pure physics, had easily identifiable short-comings – but the most complex tech was nearly the same.
And as my buddy Mokokoma says “At one point the iPhone 4 was the best thing ever.” In a year or two, what you have today will no longer be the best, or even worse – obsolete.
They started creating literal levels of quality on purpose
But something happened in the past two decades – especially since computing technology has become prevalent.
Most companies and industries appear to have colluded with one another – in order to make or manufacture products of inferior quality on purpose. Mostly due to economic demographics.
The stereo you find and Walmart will suck ass compared to the popular one you’ll find at a boutique audio store.
You absolutely know with today’s technological know-how, they can make almost everything top notch at an affordable price. Especially if they expanded their volume! But they don’t. They keep those divisive economic levels intact. On purpose exclusively for economic gain across the board.
Do you ever think about how a super fast iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 have now been “crippled” on purpose by Apple? They do that to FORCE you to buy the next best thing for $700. Hardly any pitchforks and torches for this deliberate manipulation and degradation of products.
They need levels. Cheap. Mid-range. Premium. Because they can devise ways to maximize profit at each level. And use psychological trickery to keep people addicted. The Gillette model times 1000x.
Eliminate the need entirely is the best bet
This is something we’ve done gradually in the past, but more accelerated recently.
Stop being influenced by the latest and greatest.
We no longer strive for the “best” of anything. In particular – when it comes to tech products like laptops, cell phones, or audio devices. When it comes to mechanical devices, however, we do pay more attention – as they’re truly physical equipment. And things like horsepower or output are real.
I recall spending an insane amount of money for some boutique laptop maybe 10 years ago. It might have been three grand. Had an auto-painted color. It was fancy. That thing wouldn’t even display most modern websites in 2018. What an utter waste of money.
We break laptops like they’re going out of style.
Today? We buy the cheapest laptop around at all times. Try for $100 – but are willing to pay under $200 for each. They just break now anyway, and we just use them for kitchen browsing.
Same goes for most other aspects of our lives these days.
Hardly any need to pay the most for the premium stuff. All about mindset and whether there is an absolute need or not. Can you live without – and the answer is almost always yes.
Enjoy your week ahead!