There’s a phrase going around that you should “buy experiences, not things” [with the underlying rationale that]
The drive to accumulate stuff is an evolutionary relic that no longer fits our modern situation.
Better to embrace minimalism and focus on immaterial things like experiences, whose memories you can treasure forever.
[However,] in an age of industrialization and globalism, when material goods are cheaper than ever, we should avoid partaking of this abundance.
Instead, we should consume services which are just as hard to produce as ever.
denigrate goods while highlighting the remaining luxuries that only the affluent can enjoy and show off to their friends.
As the dream of homeownership fades further away, it makes total sense to economize
by buying a few, high-quality items and just accept the loss of capability from not having, say, a well stocked toolshed.
So “buy experiences, not things” is less a bold new philosophy
than a mere rationalization of life choices that people have already been forced to adopt.
But what this rationalization ignores is the extent to which tools and possessions enable new experiences.
In truth, there is no real boundary between things and experiences.
There are experience-like things; like a basement carpentry workshop or a fine collection of loose-leaf tea. And
there are thing-like experiences, like an Instagrammable vacation that collects a bunch of likes but soon fades from memory.
Indeed, much of what is wrong with our modern lifestyles is, in a sense, a matter of overconsuming experiences.
if there is a solution, it may very well involve making good use of the material abundance we now have.
if ever more affordable material goods can build up a measure of independence from the ever more expensive services that actually consume people’s income, that would be a trade to be proud of.