This comment was made following my post about the new AU design project mobile phones:
Capitalism tries to persuade us that freedom means no more than the freedom to consume new products, rather than the freedom to have meaningful lives. I wonder if these new phones will allow me to relate to people in ways I find truly satisfying?
I’ve had time to think about it now (I quickly wrote some replies after getting back from a crazy day of mountain trekking in freezing rain), and I have to say that I don’t really get how this can be applied to these phones alone, and not to everything that we buy where esthetic likes and dislikes come into play. Of course, the same goes for whatever clothes I buy, or my pick of bags, or other such things. What I find interesting is how esthetics are now converging with electronics, which means that functionality has reached a certain plateau, and we are now free to pick our electronic gadgets (which I make no secret of being quite fond of) like we do our clothes or other things that make us stand out from the rest.
While I’m on the subject of phones, let me mention that Yuko got one of those new megapixel mobiles today. Her old phone, which was the same model as mine, got damaged from the rain yesterday and was unfixable. Although not free, they let her upgrade to a very expensive model, at a fraction of the cost (something like 1/5th of the original cost I think). She’s been spending all night reading the instructions, showing me how she can take panoramic pics and the like. Yes, I have phone envy.