Thursday, 8 May 2014

Invention Is The Mother Of Necessity.

Yep, you read that right.
A few days ago I sent this to a friend of mine: "Have you heard the joke about the ostrich who flew to Antarctica when its kid threatened to get an A minus on the CAT?"

He said, "No...", and then I replied, "Good, because it hasn't been invented yet."

I figured he would laugh.

He didn't.  (Nothing against you, pal, if you're reading this.  I guess I should work on my sense of humour; because I'm only a part-time humorist--just joking.)


But instead of laughing like everyone else would, he sent me this: "Do we really need it?  'Cause I distinctly remember somebody telling me that need is the mother of invention..."

(To be rather--exceptionally--honest, I hadn't quite thought about it that way.)

I replied to that: "Necessity is the mother of invention, but in many cases it's quite the opposite.  We find ourselves generating false needs (as consumers) for ourselves, sometimes due to peer pressure, and other times because of the mere availability of something we haven't seen before.

"Take smartphones, for instance.  First we created a false need.  (I mean, are you really busy enough to have to check your email on the subway?  Couldn't it wait, unless it's very important?)  Then people started adding more features, making the whole thing more user-friendly, updating apps etc., and mankind hadn't seen any of that before, and that's why half the globe fell for it."

He...didn't say anything after that (except "you have a good point there" and a few other lines).  Either he was spellbound with my text-message-thesis or he was just bored by my unstoppable rant about invention being the mother of necessity.  I prefer to go with the former, seeing how it affects my online reputation (in case I have one).

In this article on pockets for saris, for example, notice how the designer says "unrecognized requirement".

If you really think about it, there are so many things we've got hooked onto (both literally and figuratively)....but don't really need....

....Which brings me to the the topic of clutter.  Ugh.  There are so many things in my room that I could throw out right now, but, you know, there's always that one person for whom every little thing holds some sort of (seemingly irrelevant) sentimental value.  You have to learn to let things go, man!  Don't hoard stuff; it's alright if you don't read that magazine from 1976 or something: just....throw it away, right?  

"Clutter is the root of all human problems."  It wouldn't hurt to say that, because, in a way, it's true.  Thinking about too many things at a time can bog you down.  Not cleaning up after yourself in your house can cause disease.  Too much noise makes you deaf.  Too much cake makes you ill.  Too much clutter inhibits your 'creative flow', your practicality, and your sanity in general.  Digital clutter can affect you negatively, too.  

Emptiness is good sometimes!  

Looking back on our title, I'd say that it is necessity is the mother of invention up to a point, but after that it starts getting too complicated.  The only solution to this is knowing what you really really (really) need in the first place and then buying that.  


Okay, so, I just wanted to get y'all thinking about we really need the things we say we need?  (Don't worry, I'm not trying to turn you into a hermit with no desire for worldly possessions here, but you know what I mean.)
Do we need our laptops?
Do we need our phones?
And are these things that can't be thrown?

See you on the next post--till then, au revoir!

P.S. I've added Disqus comments on here.  Please click on the time-stamp near the end of the post to comment.  (If you don't have a Disqus account, you can still comment as a guest with a custom name.) Thank you!

~ migration.

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