Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RIDICULOUS Extravagance


I work for a company that you might say is heavily involved with "leading" technology, so I know that many of my friends might see this as a hypocritical or ridiculous post...but I am having a moral dilemma about a very popular newish product that is often paired with our products. I'm not going to mention the name of this product, or the brand, because I respect the company, my friends who work there, and I respect the incredible technology that went into this thing. Here's my problem....the projector you see below costs $25,000. Yes, that's right, $25,000...for one projector....for your home theater...just the projector...basically a TV, except you also have to buy the screen, so not even a whole TV.

And yes, I know that this projector has some really incredible 4k's ULTRA HD, not only can you see each individual blade of grass at the Masters with stunning precision and clarity, but you can see the ants and smaller insects crawling around the blades of grass with the same precision and clarity. I appreciate how cool that is, I do (although I think you have to draw the line at just how much you want to see...newscasters and other TV personalities can't be happy about the ever-increasing HD quality).

Anyway, I decided to make a list of other ridiculous extravagances someone could purchase for this same price, and contrast it with a list of just a few positive things that could be done with the same amount of money. I'll even subtract $8,000 (about how much you would spend on an incredible 70" LCD TV) and we'll just skip right over that level of extravagance - I recognize people spend a lot on these things, and I appreciate quality electronics so I won't pretend to advocate anything near a technologically celibate lifestyle.

Other Wasteful, Sickening Things You Can Buy for About $17,000:

  •  A Hummer - that's right. The gas-guzzling, over-compensating monster vehicles that pollute the air and overstep parking spot boundaries everywhere they go. (I drove past a car lot today with a Hummer listed for $15,000 OBO, and it was this sight that made me realize a HUMMER could be purchased for less than this ONE PROJECTOR!
  • Apparently you can buy ONE purse for $17,000...or you can just steal it like this guy
  • You could buy enough cigarettes to smoke a pack a day for 10 years with $17,000. It's true, I found it on the internet!
  • Let's not even THINK about what despicable goods and services could be had in Las Vegas for $17,000
  • You could complete an entire Sundance Film Festival-worthy movie all about violence and brain damage for $17,000 
I could go on...but I won't. Now to all the positive things that could be done with the same amount:
  • You could refund the donations made by all these people who believed they were helping a girl with Leukemia
  • You could make 680 loans to individuals in need around the world through Kiva or other microfinance institutions. 
  • You could provide 5 defibrillators to an institution of your choice.
  • You could make a $17,000 donation to any NUMBER of great causes (cancer research, literacy programs, humanitarian aid, etc.)
  • You could fly yourself over to Africa to help put up mosquito nets or educate people on good health habits (and you might even see some cool animals while you're at it!)
  • Even putting money towards retirement or kids college funds seems like a better use of the funds.  
Ok I'm off my soapbox. I realize I'm in no position to condemn people who purchase these things - I have and probably will continue to make frivolous purchases (although not quite of the same amount) but that doesn't mean I feel good about it. So for myself, I am setting out to change my spending habits. For everyone what you want of course, but maybe now with a new perspective.