Technology makes the common too uncommon


or how common sense became luxury.


I’m an ultra selective guy and I’m not proud of it. It grew into a genuine nightmare. That’s why I neither recommend, nor endorse, such an attitude. However for those who already have it, the end of the world might come faster than for the others.

Why?

Because the ubiquity of chinese labeled products, with communist contents and capitalist wrapping, turned common sense into a true luxury. A high quality brand will not make a high quality product, but, instead, it will make a quality one.

But quality is common sense!

Yes, and I keep hearing the same mantra repeated time and time again:

“they don’t make them like they used to, because … planned obsolescence”.

Not really.

Fast replacement or not, I’ll take my chance and contradict some conspiracy theory purists. The equal sign between luxury and common sense is not a sales strategy but a loosening of consumer exigence.

Any product has its Chinese counterpart.

Chinese products are very accessible price wise but they provide a disastrous user experience — basically no one has the chutzpah to recommend an original chinese product.

Product OF China is an opposite of Quality, although all production is Made IN China.

So all manufacturers find themselves in a sudden competitive heaven. And they took advantage of it! Think about it. As a consumer, after years and years of bad experiences with some plastic crap which loses its color in the first week, when you finally afford that quality Brand thing and the color stays there, well, you think that is as good as it gets, missing the fact that in fact it is the same plastic crap: all the Big Quality Brand does it a better paint job.


Technology makes the common too uncommon.

This is the whole wrong of the food industry. GMOs or airborne salad with its roots unrooted, or animals grown in environments so dense with their own species that they can’t breathe properly, all these have flooded the markets. Nowadays to eat anything remotely common one must pay a premium. Everything that has technology baked in is pushing common food aside. For example, a cake that doesn’t remain unspoiled for twenty days in the shop windows, but instead spoils and softens in twenty hours, is a rarity of confectionery, with a gourmet price.

But the worst part is that we’re ploughing ahead, and the decades with people living good enough in this situation start showing their effects. Decades of having strawberries in the middle of winter, where anyone has at least one mobile phone, if not two, decades of bananas in every store in countries ridiculously far from the closest banana tree, decades drinking coffee cheaper than production costs after all taxes are applied. Yes, you’ll hear a lot how all this situation is because technology and progress and strides of civilization, yet the truth is this illusory abundance is a prime effect of poor consumption habits, the habit of settling for less at a sensorial level and in general the habit of substituting the physical experience of pleasure with the abstract experience of owning.

Fundamentally consumers are to blame, because if you’d think of all the exploited kids who year after year separate cocoa seeds your chocolate would remain stuck in your throat. But we don’t.

The root of all evil is in people’s mistaken faith in their rights. Those abstract rights we call “human rights” ended up transformed into commercial goods, as if they are in fact intrinsic qualities of life on Earth. The right to happiness ended up as the right to accumulate, the right to free movement ended up as the right to all inclusive holidays with mandatory skying in the desert, and the right to freedom ended up as the right to ignorance!

Wouldn’t it be nice if the statistical human, the one hidden in the numbers behind all those neat infographics, would start and appreciate common sense and, afterwards, starts demanding it again? Common sense is not subtle at all: common sense is to not have, not to have.


Common sense is to not have, not to have.

Our ancient evolutionary environment has always been a hostile one. That is why it’s common sense to not have food instead of a constantly full fridge with spoiled food in it. You don’t need a fasting day for health reasons, it is common sense to have it because there is no food, and that doesn’t make you less human, less achieving, or less worthy. It is common sense to not have twenty different sets of clothing for nights out, so that you won’t show up dressed in the same outfit at two events in a row. And if you don’t have them, you will not be less dignified, less pretty or less interesting, you’ll simply be human.

What would accepting this common sense, with its socialist odour, bring to us? Well, in time, a sort of detachment arises, a letting go of the permanent rush to make it there. There where you can finally enjoy your commercial rights, where you can visit obscure places on the world’s map only for the “been there” pics, or where fancy parties happen and caviar is scooped from the sea the day before it is laid on the butter.

When you become free of rush, patience becomes virtue.

Patience to wait for the season of strawberries. Patience to slowly serve one expensive banana which tastes like a banana not like grass. Patience to chop off little imperfections which make a fruit tasty, or the patience to make youself a common sense lunch which doesn’t make you fat because of all that damn invisible sugars in it. And, you’ll have time. Time to reconsider your ignorance and at least try to leave it behind. Time to know your religion, whichever that might be, and to live it intimately and individually. Time to think of another human because you feel that human is a part of you and you don’t know how to wrap your thoughts around them and that just makes you unreasonably happy.


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