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The "NEXT" concept

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by 0dBm, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I have seen posts articulating what the next acquisition may and will be such a knife, firearm, bag, etc.

    Have we become such a material acquisition-driven society? Perhaps so because of the wherewithal that we have developed that in-turn fuels our economies that in-turn pushes makers into making more variety for the sake of placating our never-ending appetite for new features of the same product. An endless loop.

    I see new members constantly adding hordes of new items to their battery of "stuff" (as late comic George Carlin calls it). Yes, I've gone through this cycle, then thrown or given away or sold the things that just linger or occupy a "junk" drawer.

    I can justify acquiring things for the sake of improved safety or enhanced efficiency associated with disposable items such as paper towels or electronics. But then again one can argue that everything is disposable and subject to improvement & enhancements.

    I'm in a point in my life that I can afford to acquire 100% of my needs and 99% of my wants BUT, I see no desire to acquire beyond 5% of my wants so the "NEXT" concept has dwindled for me.

    This is no diatribe of others' purchasing habits and I'm not about to formulate then publish an economic scale of the continuum of acquisition habits of modern consumers. There is no point to this post and there is no question asked that I have not already answered myself to my complete satisfaction.
     
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  2. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave Loaded Pockets

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    Consumerism and fashion. We've been told/trained/brainwashed into believing that what we have is not good enough. The new thing is better, fixing all the flaws of the previous, we need to buy it immediately so we can be the envy of our peers. One can't be happy unless the newest is possessed. Repeat next year...
     
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  3. J_C
    • In Omnia Paratus

    J_C Loaded Pockets

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    Internet / advertisting / social media creates wants where they did not exist before. Sometimes, sure, it shows you something you never knew existed that could meet a need you have but didn't have a good solution for. But more often it just makes you want more of something. Manipulation of your contentment level. Before you saw someone post a pic of some cool thing, you were happy with whatever you already had. Now that you have seen the cool new thing, you are no longer happy.

    This is nothing new - keeping up with the Joneses, or people following the fashion trends of the wealthy (or royalty) has been going on for as long as humans have needed to display social status in a society. I believe it is an innate tendency in our species, or at least is a strong cultural norm in all cultures since the earliest settled civilizations.

    The proliferation of social media over the past few years (and forums before that) where it has become so easy to take high quality pictures and immediately post them has created a sort of viral marketing campaign between individuals, without the makers having to lift a finger. The original way to "go viral" was to get a celebrity (or the king or queen) to use or endorse your product. That still happens, but now it can also occur just within niches of consumers via the Internet.

    So whereas savvy consumers learn to be on guard against being marketed to by the people trying to make a buck, the sort of peer-based advertising that occurs on forums and social networking sites is not something that immediately triggers warning signals that someone is trying to get into your wallet. And for some reason, many people become unpaid salespersons for a favorite brand. There is certainly the altruistic basis of trying to help someone out ("I need a knife for xxx purpose, can someone recommend something?") which elicits a number of responses.

    But such questions usually result in information overload, with 20 different knives or brands mentioned, any one of which would probably ideally suit that person's need. So now they are stuck with the paradox of choice. If they buy only one out of the 20, they are simultaneously not buying the other 19. So they may buy more than one out of fear of missing out. Or as they learn more about the subject, features and qualities that were unimportant to them before become important (whether or not they have any actual bearing on how the person might use the tool).

    It is a difficult task to stay vigilant against the weaknesses of the human psyche, and of the many ways we are subject to being fooled or fooling ourselves. Sometimes it's easy to resist, and sometimes you fall into it.

    I think ultimately it takes a dose of financial reality to cure people of excess consumerism. Unfortunately that particular lesson is usually served up the hard way when you have a financial loss and have to take stock of things and determine what's really important.

    Of course if everyone all of a sudden woke up tomorrow and decided to only buy those things that are practical and that they actually need, the global economy would immediately collapse. So the best is if you individually figure this out and become frugal but the rest of the world keeps on spending away.
     
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  4. baccar-3

    baccar-3 Loaded Pockets

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    I found this bicycle with the name next on the frame; the welds were excellent so I decided to re-build and ride it.
    I call it my next bicycle.
    There will prolly be more.:cool:
     
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  5. Replete

    Replete Loaded Pockets

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    I agree with the vast majority, if not all, of the points here; that said, I do want to point out some things.

    The original post by 0dBm mentions "disposable items such as paper towels or electronics". A paper towel, as a result of its material composition, will degrade after every use, and there will be a point where it will simply disintegrate. Nobody thinks twice about using a paper towel to clean a spill and then throwing out the towel - this is simply the custom. (I would argue that the ubiquity of disposable diapers, as opposed to reusable diapers, presents a better case for why people aren't interested in dealing with something "dirty"/contaminated beyond disposing of it.)

    Electronics, on the other hand, are not quite so disposable yet, but I am fairly sure they will become so in the next ~10 years. Electronics in their current state are a textbook example of planned obsolescence - they are designed, produced, and marketed in such a way that the consumer will be upgrading and/or replacing them every few years. Part of this is because of the rapid pace at which technology is advancing, but I would say the larger part is a strategic way of increasing profit.

    If someone could buy a cellphone today and use it for the next 5+ years with no decline in performance or damage to the phone, they would have significantly less reason to spend money on a new phone. If someone could buy a set of dishes that were extremely sturdy and durable, they might never need more dishes because their current set still works well; in this case, everyone who wants the product will eventually acquire the product, and none of the early adopters will need more dishes because theirs still work. This isn't a sustainable business strategy, and I would argue that the relative uniqueness of very rugged, continually effective products is a notable building block in communities such as EDC culture (because who wants to carry a backpack that falls apart after a month of commuting?) and the search for BIFL products (because thrifty people can only afford the best quality/"buy once, cry once").

    Also, looking at the points about social media raised by J_C , I personally can attest to the fact that it is usually much easier to get buying advice online, usually because any thread will represent a global aggregate of people interested in a topic - i.e., if I start a thread here asking about which fixed blade best meets my needs, people from all over the world can respond; if I asked around locally, there would be a smaller pool of knowledgeable people and I would have less of a chance, statistically, of finding an expert.

    Another aspect of online shopping is that the consumer is not limited to stores they can visit in person, instead having access to sources across the globe. There will always be a better selection online than locally. (Not to mention, online shopping means not having to deal with customer service people in person. This is why I love online shopping.)

    I also wanted to discuss the sunk cost fallacy (e.g. "I already spent $300 on this bag; what's another $75 for an organizer?") but this post is huge already. I kind of got carried away there :nerd:
     
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  6. kikaida

    kikaida Loaded Pockets

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    Many people who EDC become collectors of the items they carry. Some become flashlight collectors, knife collectors, or whatever. You see in this in the various threads where people are showing off their collections of EDC gear.
     
  7. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have too much. But .....if I can find a solar powered, hi cri, infinitely adjustable, at least 1,000 lumens, and the size of a photon freedom. I'm buying them all.
     
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  8. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I firmly believe that everyone who has at least viewed these pages have become a "collector" of some sort. Acquiring & accumulating is a method of learning about what fulfills our needs and placates our wants. What I have found to be disturbing is acquiring for the sake of acquiring. There is something unhealthy about that; gluttony perhaps. Greed certainly. Dunno...
     
  9. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Gluttony perhaps. I call it sons.

    [​IMG]10 mumbo gear out by mumbojumboo, on Flickr

    [​IMG]mumbo trash family by mumbojumboo, on Flickr

    But yeah your right....OCD seems to go along with EDC.

    In the last two weeks I bought 7 of the same knife. They are for family but that's just me trying to rationalize my purchase.
     
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  10. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Several decades ago when I was sent to the jungles far away, I carried 5 blades ranging from a 2-layer SAK to an 18-inch foliage reducer. I cannot recall whether it was gluttony or paranoia.
     
  11. Torque

    Torque Loaded Pockets

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    I just bought two of something, two nearly identical watches. Never have done that before. At least they were different color schemes.

    I justified it like this: I just couldn't decide on which color I liked better. Also they were on closeout, priced down all the way to 25% of MSRP! So I said, well if I buy 'em both, the price of both was still just 50% of what one of them costs at retail. I can always sell one of them and probably still get my money back.

    At least that's what I tell myself. :D
     
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  12. Lellobeetle

    Lellobeetle Loaded Pockets

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    My husband and I have almost come to blows over the notion of collecting knives - especially of the same model but different colors.
     
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  13. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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