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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Needs


I will continue on my ongoing minimalist theme, with something I have been seeing frequently.
People claiming they "need" something, not just want it. I'll give you an example. 

If you read this blog then you know I am a big fan of Adam Savage, of myth busters fame. We have a number of things in our personal histories in common. I absolutely love his ability to build things, a skill I do not have, and he is fascinated by a number of things that I too am fascinated by. One of them is old adventure vehicles. He has a fully restored Toyota FJ-40. If I had the means I would own one of these vehicles in a heartbeat - honestly I would rather a Landrover Series IIa from the year I was born, but I digress. Recently he posted a picture of a Lego FJ-40 that matched his actual truck identically, and he said something along the lines of "I love this because it matches my FJ, I don't want this, I need it!" With all do respect Mr. Savage - and I really do have a lot or respect for you - you don't need it. 

Today I came across this photo of a home craft project utilizing a tire, some wood, and a rope. Please read the caption. 

Let me say for the record, No one needs this. I don't even think most people want this. 

I completely understand what both of the people in these examples are trying to say. They are saying this is something really special that speaks to me on a higher level, and I would like to acquire it. That having this particular thing will make me extremely happy. The problem is, they are wrong. 

I don't know Adam Savage - but if he is ever in town, I would love to buy him a drink - but I think he seems like a genuinely happy person. I don't think having that lego truck is really going to make him any happier. I also don't think that a used tire covered with rope is going to make anyones life better. 

I think that sayings like this elevate the concept of needs to a place that they shouldn't be. People need food. People need water. Those are needs. I am serious, right now there are people in the world who need food and water.

recently I was watching the latest Apple media event. a week or so ago I sold my aging laptop, and a monitor that connects to it. My wife and I share an iMac, which I am typing on now. My only other "computer" is an iPad mini. My plan was to sell the laptop, use the money to buy a new iPad mini, and then sell my older iPad mini. But during the Apple presentation I saw the new iPad Pro. I was really impressed. To have that much power in the form of a tablet? That high res of a screen? I was really impressed with the apple pencil too! I could see using the pencil to annotate maps, or some such. I was stumped, I wasn't sure which to get. I decided to think about it for a few days. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that while having an iPad that could do all that would be amazing, I didn't really need it. I need to be able to travel with my iPad easily, It needs to go everywhere with me. The Pro was just too big. I love the stylus, but I don't really need it. I wanted the iPad pro, but I don't need it. If I could get an iPad mini pro, they might have something.

I don't mean to be a buzz kill or a fun sponge, I understand what everyone means, but I think we should keep things in perspective. There is a difference between needing and wanting. What do we actually need? If you think about it, most of you probably have what you need. A lot of things fall into the want category. Just don't think that having those things will actually make you any happier.


Come on, is Spock ever wrong? 

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