I am sure many of you will be aware of my feelings on the subject of greed. It is rife these days. Companies who would have been happy with modest profits seek more and more. Though they deny it the quality of goods and customer service are all cut back in the interests of the bottom line. The very machine I am typing this on, while cheap, shows a marked reduction in build quality from the many machines I have used. The optical drive cover in particular is wobbly to say the least and it’s open button is very flimsy.
The companies who make those tins of chocolate (Though the container is plastic now!) claim that you get the same amount now as you did in the 60’s. I don’t think so
To touch on politics for a minute, one of the reasons big business is against U.K. leaving the E.U. is that the influx of immigrants from countries with high unemployment ensure they will work for much less than home grown workers. It used to be that a good living wage was accepted as as normal, but as a result of this pay became so low that now we have to have a legal minimum wage and some rely on tax credits to top them up. All to increase profits.
But it’s not just business, personal greed is as bad. It used to be called ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’, basically you felt inadequate if you had less cash or poorer possessions than your neighbours and friends. Now it has just become a case of keeping up with your own expectations. 4K T.V’s are now de rigeur while I am happy with an H.D. My P.C. is cheap but the best for my needs. I drive a 14 year old car. Yet many cannot live without the latest of everything.
To change the subject slightly, but still to the point, I have recently been playing ‘Elder Scrolls online’
You only need to know that this is a medieval R.P.G. set in an imaginary world. The population is made up, in part, of other real people (Or their avatars.) playing the game at the same time. The latest update allows you to own a virtual ‘Home’ in this world. You get a room in an inn for completing a quest but if you want better, as far as I can tell, you have to pay real world money. Now I am a sucker for a freebie so I went for it but I can’t see myself laying out real cash for what is, after all, a few electromagnetic interactions in an anonymous server. However there are several available homes from a two room shack to a multi-roomed mansion in it’s own grounds. I need not tell you that you pay more for the bigger ones. Greed ensures they will not be short of customers for an imaginary construct existing only on a computer screen. It is not cheap. Depending what you want it can be up to 50 pounds. You can do the same with furniture.
You have to wonder, should VR become commonplace, how many would pay for an area you can literally exist within. This despite the fact it is still imaginary. Who knows? If Star Trek’s Holodeck becomes reality it will seem real enough. Bear in mind that there were a few episodes about Holo-Addiction though.
Another Star Trek concept, Replicators, may be a way of ending greed. They can recreate anything from anything. But if the world is similar to today you can bet there will be a way to ensure greed is still a factor with these machines. It’s built into us. We always want better and more expensive stuff than the next guy. It’s a way of keeping score in a competitive world.