Phones, phones, phones

Phones.

I’m intrigued by all the new phones that swamp the world. Nearly every day there’s a new phone coming out, or so it seems.

phones
Phones

This is a world of communication. Being connected has become part of our life. Some people take it to extremes by being connected 24 hours every day. Modern smartphones, whether you’re into Apple, Android, Windows, Tizen, the unfortunately (officially) deceased Ubuntu phone or any other platform, give you that option.

A new phone.

I wonder how many new phones a person needs. With so many new phones coming out every week, I wonder if the manufacturers can actually make a profit from all their new designs, options, gadgets and doo-dahs.

Don’t get me wrong: I couldn’t care less if they do make a profit; they’re rich enough as it is. I just wonder what the advantage would be to have a new phone every, let’s say, two months, just because the bezel is a little more rounded, the display is 0.2″ bigger or the camera is a bit better.

Are there people who change phones almost as often as their socks? Or even more often? (Eeuw?)

Consumerism.

Piggy bankThat’s probably the thing. The media are pushing people’s buttons to get the latest and greatest. Constantly. Get a new this and that or you won’t be happy. Get the new iPhone or your friends will laugh at you. Make sure you have the latest wearable gear or you look silly. Be hip, hop, modern, and most of all: spend your money. Spending money makes happy. (Okay, mostly that means happiness for the people who get your money but that’s beside the point.)

Freedom.

Our world seems to hand us freedom. The freedom to go where we want, when we want, and stay connected to all our Facebook friends (how many of them have you actually met?), connected to Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat and what not. And the world knows where you are, when you’re there and probably even why. Big data rules, and big data is watching you.

When’s the last time you went out for a walk, leaving your phone at home?

 

So… what is the most important here?

I’m really curious what you think because I already know what I think.

Let me give you a list:

  • NYSE (New York Stock Exchange).
  • Nikkei (Japan Stock Exchange).
  • NASDAQ (US Stock Exchange).
  • AEX (Amsterdam Stock Exchange).

NYSE-stock-market-007

Did you miss your favourite one? Or do you already know what’s most important? Let me tell you that none of them is important. These places deal with man-made ideas that are worth millions of other man-made ideas. The whole thing is a farce that has taken over so much space in the minds of people that it’s become a figment of importance while the whole thing is nothing but a waste of time. Not money, because that’s the other man-made idea. Money’s nothing but paper and metal that should be put to better use.

Stock markets are fickle and unhealthy. They can crash (proof is in 1920, 2008 and others) and they can kill people. Not by falling on those people, but those innocent, lost souls have tied their well-being to those stock markets so much that a crash (or a drop in the value of shares, yet another man-made silliness) drives them to suicide. For all the paper and metal in the world I don’t see a reason to kill myself over that.

If you read all the way to here, do you (still) think that stock markets are important? Give me clean air, fresh water and pleasant people to share honest food with. We need a brave new world. One that has learnt from the mistakes we’ve made and are still making with the current one. Brave, because it will take a lot of brave people to start creating it because you can bet that there will be a lot of opposition from the people who think that stock markets are the most important thing.

Man over money. Instead of money over man, the way things are now.

Politicians.

politics

I wonder if politicians are really stupid or if they receive instructions on acting like that once they’re in some kind of seat of power. You may wonder why I ask this. If you do, you should pay attention to what politicians do and say for a change.

Speed.
A while ago here in the Netherlands they allowed people to drive faster on certain motorways. (US: freeways.) My first thought was: ah, they need more money. How is driving faster getting the government more money? Easy. You drive faster, your car uses more fuel, you get more fuel, and fuel is heavily taxed. Simple when you look at it that way. Another kind of more money comes from the confusion that arose: many people didn’t know where to drive 130km/h, 120km/h and so on, as the signs for that were either not in place or unclear. Result: people drive too fast and get tickets. More money for the government.

So how does this make politicians stupid?
More fuel-consumption in cars produces more exhaust, and that affects the air. Measurements have proven that this indeed happens on the stretches of motorway where the speed limit was raised. After reporting that to the politicians in the government, the ruling was: we’re not lowering the speed limit.

This is of course understandable from their point of view: lowering the speed limit again will anger or annoy many people who like to spend a lot of money on fuel drive fast. It will also show that the politicians didn’t think this through, and of course it would affect the inflow of taxes and the benefits of speeding tickets.

The fact that this rule makes the air worse again is of no concern. Until people get sick of that, go to the doctor for it, and in turn that could well raise the fees for health insurance for everyone as the cost of healthcare go up.

I’m not impressed. Actually politicians fail to impress me more and more over the years. (Note that this is not true for all politicians. Just most of them.)

Your work. Your ball and chain.

As I thought last week:

It’s so dumb that you select an area of work and you’re basically stuck with in, in the modern structure of things. When you have no idea yet of the real world and real life, you’re to make choices that will rivet you to your future. You like numbers? Be an accountant or so. You like computers? Be a programmer. You like colours? Be a painter.

bridezilla-ball-and-chain

Of course you know me, you understand that I’m painting this a bit black and white – to make the impact a bit larger than life. Still, it’s true. You set your sails for graphics design and you’ll probably design graphics for the rest of your life, unless the market for that is so overfed / full / desperately unwanted that you have no choice but to learn something else.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few moments in your life where you have the opportunity to consider where you are and where you want to go from there? Instead of what we have now; a world where the options to change are so limited, considering that work = money = life.

The mistake of Monday. Or: we have to work.

The mistake of Monday is that it stopped being part of the weekend. Same thing with Friday. In other words: weekends are too short. You may not agree, but this is my blog and my opinion.

People in the Netherlands are required to work until they’re 65. Or 67. Or wherever it will end by the time it ends. No excuse that there are many unemployed people who can do a few days of work as well, so the working class can have some more time off. We have to work, work, work, to boost the economy, to grow the export to other countries, to make more money for those who have so much already.

There is no time for a lot of happiness. Money doesn’t believe in happiness, only in more money, and we are the means to get that.

Of course, life now has more weekend than the life of the average peasant in the Dark Ages, but we are also submitted to lots more stress. Did you know that, on average, we now work more and longer than before the industrial revolution? That didn’t bring us much, did it? I sincerely believe that we should have more time to enjoy ourselves. To do something more constructive with our lives than just playing slave to the dollars and the euros.

We could, for instance, ‘live’.

This is how we make money

I noticed before how companies are making more money without you knowing it. I have here a few pictures of a way:

DSC00912

See here. 2 bottles of shampoo. The same brand, the same thing, the same price, just a nicer shape bottle on the right.

DSC00913

Here we are, there is the same description on the bottles, so it’s really the same thing. So how do they make more money off this? They made the bottle prettier!

DSC00914

Here’s the way. The old bottle contained 50 ml more. Okay, 50 ml isn’t much, right, but for a 300 ml bottle that comes down to almost 17%.

This happens on stuff in boxes too. Keep your eye on boxes of cereal. They will always cost the same, the boxes will be the same size too, just the amount inside them will get less and less.

Want another trick on how a tooth paste company increased their profit by 10%? They made the opening of the tube 10% wider. People are used to putting a certain length of the paste on the brush, so they used 10% more without noticing.

Fuel price went up again

It is not because of wars in oil-sensitive areas.

It is not because of the American elections for the next president.

It’s because the car makers have the bloody nerve to make fuel efficient cars so that the big oil company don’t get the money in that they think they deserve. They will make sure they get money for their value, no matter what we do.

It’s about time there is no more oil left for them to blackmail us with.