I just read an article on Cracked.com that kind of made my jaw drop in a mix of awe and a teeny bit of disgust/jealousy.
It talks about how they’re making a toilet that heats itself, washes your bum, and dries it. There’s also a shower that remembers your preferred heat settings and plays the music you like while shooting water from three jets. They’re also talking about a refrigerator that can recognize when you’re low on something and possibly order it for you. There’s more, too, so enjoy that.
Wow, technology is scary sometimes. I mean, fantastically cool, but scary at how advanced it really is. Of course, there’s one problem with hyper-advanced technology stuff: in order to buy it, you have to hold the world ransom for…one MILLION dollars! (Is that joke still funny?)
These are rich-man’s toys! Ultra convenience with minimal effort on your own part doesn’t come cheap…at least for now. You know that one day, the technology prices will go down. I mean I’m writing on a laptop that I bought for $700 at Best Buy. My last laptop was $1,100, which I bought 5 years prior, and had older systems and programs. As technology evolves, the old stuff just goes down the tubes in price because at some point, it becomes obsolete.
But when does a toilet become obsolete?
What is the point of a toilet? Please don’t answer that in the comments, just think about it to yourself. It has a single function: get the crap out of my house–literally. At what point does technology become silly?
This is not an anti-tech rant; I’m writing this on a laptop, remember. Computer chips, the internet, and other gadgets have opened up new doors of opportunity that we never could have imagined before. But I have to admit that at some point, we start to lose a few things.
Take that shower for instance, the one that remembers your temperature settings, plays music, and can even mix soap with the water like a car wash. How hard is it to adjust the temperature in a shower? Okay, that’s not fair because the proper distance between arctic mist and Hellfire is only about a millimeter, but most all of us take showers on a regular basis, so…we’ve kind of figured it out, haven’t we? How do we justify the cost? And how hard is it to use soap?
Or take that refrigerator, which costs about $6000 at the moment, and is only a prototype. Is it worth the extra thousands of dollars to never have to go to the store again, to never pick up and inspect your foods themselves? To never have to interact with people? Of course, from America’s obesity ratings, we barely look at what we’re eating, anyway.
Really, the only justification for purchases like these is the “oooh, aaahh” factor. Like I said, when I saw these products, my first thought was “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!” Then I thought about it. I have a toilet already. I have a shower. I have fridge. Why do I need the new bells and whistles? Because I want them.
Of course, that’s what advertising does anyway: caters to our desires, not the product’s usefulness. Come try our new burger! Nah, I’m not really hungry. But this one has our brand new special sauce that no one else has! Well, I suppose I could feel special, then!
These things exist because rich people get bored. They have no needs, so they go on their desires. And the techno-wizards cater to their desires in new ways every day. The problem is that use non-rich folk think we deserve the best, too, and go into massive debt to get the brand-new iPad because reading an email in Hi-Def is SUPER COOL!
So, this is just a musing (rambling) about technology, money, and us. I do wonder where it’s going, and I do hope I’m wrong about it.
But what do you think? With all these new toys out there that cost a fortune, are we losing more than we gain, or do the benefits outweigh the losses?
Let me know down below!