Entitlement and Ego

As my muse has continued to be a no-show I have to dig a bit for stuff to ramble about. As a forewarning all of this is off the top of my head so it could easily be wildly inaccurate and liable to be highly opinionated.

The topic has come about mostly through my browsing of the different bits of the internet interested in the Google Pilot Program (mostly because of the free laptop I wager. Then again; stones, glass houses, casting of one from inside the other.) While many I've bumped into seem genuinely wanting to help refine and process I've seen a fair share wanting just a free gizmo and more than a little disappointment at the thing not working perfectly out of the box.

The whole thing reminds me of Minecraft really. Developer being ultra generous and letting people in early and while the majority seem appreciative a loud minority seem to do nothing but incessantly complain that an unfinished product (in this case shipped to their front door for free rather than a heavily discounted alpha program.) Sadly it is this vocal minority feeling that even when it is clearly stated as being unfinished, if they receive a service it should be flawless.


I've seen arguments that this is a byproduct of consumer culture where Joe or Jane buys Thing. Uses Thing. Throws Thing away. Buys New Thing... and so on. However I believe this is not a case of culture. Think of it more as an evolutionary throwback. Our brains are wired to identify and deal with deficancy. Ug the Neanderthal (whether they were really an ancestor or off branch is immaterial, close cousin at worst so run with it.) had to constantly deal with lack to the point that it was a struggle to survive. Ug not recognizing when something was not there could kill Ug. Skim ahead and you don't really find a situation where every need is met on a large scale till the past hundred and fifty or so years (arguably not until post ww2, and starving children and homeless to one side... please... we aren't into a post-scarcity culture yet.)

So for the past few thousand years being able to recognize we didn't have some vital thing which caused a deep seated need to fill that need was a psychological advantage. This leads to, in modern american culture, keeping up with the Joneses, commercials telling you what you need so you have that added edge socially, time life books telling you how to do stuff at home, counterculture that lashes out against materialism while at the same time latching onto their own hierarchies of Stuff to impress themselves with and so on.....

I don't mean this as a slight. As someone who has kept tabs on the Brass Goggles community I've seen truly inspirational works of art and craftsmanship. I mean by all that once basic survival needs are met our minds spin outward to find something else we don't have. Since we're social creatures this tends to be things that can be used in some way to impress others or degrade those we see as competitors.

So where is all this rambling leading? Unsure really as there is no clear way of making those that whine and backbite about Cool Thing not having this or that. However with the shopping season in full force it's a matter that's been on the brain lately.

inevitably we all get disappointed when Cool Thing does not meet expectations. What do you do then? Discuss. Please.

I plan on writing something for Friday. Probably continuing on this thread of thought as it moves into interpersonal connections and emotional stability.
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