The problem of plenty

6 thoughts on “The problem of plenty”

  1. We should try to turn more things back into “events”. Its the opposite of what I often see as introducing false scarcity to increase profits (hi Comcast!). Turning something into an event means that you openly acknowledge the plentifulness but you enhance it with the attributes of an event in order to make it feel more special. More personal.

    Abundance breeds mundane but novelty creates a memory.

  2. We haven’t lost events, they’ve just changed. Someone 80-100 years ago could have written the same about the first time they got in a horseless carriage, or experienced electrical light.

    1. Matt

      I think that is not what I am saying – I think the lack of constraints is removing specialness of moments or events. We have divided life into many millisecond events and there is only so many memories we can associate with them.

  3. I wonder where the balance is then between technological progress and constraints. Are we to stop advances so that we may observe life in a more meaningful manner?

    Maybe it’s an issue of discipline. When growing up, you were restricted by your family’s means. Now as you have progressed in life, you are able to afford a plethora of new opportunities. It’s easy, when one is able to, to indulge in a better lifestyle.

    Maybe if life has given us more choices, it is up to use to put the constraints on ourselves. I always think back to “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. It is up to us to make the conscious decision “to stop without a farmhouse near” every once in a while.

  4. To me the problem of plenty is about the accessibility to what was once priced beyond an impulsive buy. Financially planning to take a trip some place exposed how you valued your buys. When the accessibility to things becomes cheaper (in time & money) we end up valuing it less.

    These days the specialness of something is directly related to the time (not money) I need to commit to something. I highly value you time with my friends & family. When I see photos on instagram with those moments I don’t find specialness in instagram & the photos themselves, but I feel specialness of my experience that I can remember through similar services.

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