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Subject:  Re: The New Luxuries Date:  10/13/2000  4:25 PM
Author:  adsach Number:  21678 of 876422

Mr BigPantsMatt posted:

I argue that luxury can most definately be purchased with a credit card. Consider this most fundamental luxury: the opportunity for self-expression. With a credit card I can afford to do things I enjoy, like learning to snowboard, or visiting distant friends, or buying a DV camera and making movies. Luxury can be based upon ownership of material goods, but not just for the sake of placing them on the mantle or parking them in the garage. Rather, material goods act as tools to help extend our freedom and let us follow our dreams.

I agree with Matt that one form of luxury is the ability to purchase the tools of self expression. Even in my more 'back to nature' moods of stone sculpture, where I eschew using a power grinder and hand san<d a stone, I am thankful for the manual technology. I don't want to mine my own ore, to make my own iron, to forge my own chisel, even though I want to take said chisel and chip away at a rock I fished out of a streambed. And I sure don't want to make my own sandpaper. The credit card saves me from this.

But then, this comes back to time. The reason I don't want to smelt and forge my own tools is more the amount of time it would take to build the facilities to make the tools than any aversion to the actual process of the work. Saving the time IS the luxury.

The basis of civilization is the exchange of goods and services in order to save labor/time by concentrating skills and a division of labor. While folks in less developed countries might see a supermarket as a luxury because of the vast array of goods - folks in more developed countries might see the barter for individual items in multiple market stalls as a luxury because of the large amount of time exchanged in each minor purchase(something I only have time for on vacation).

Ad Sach - who has just assuaged his desire to post without the luxury of spending the time to develop a coherent thought before posting.

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