We don’t think we hate cheap things – but we frequently behave as if we do.
The first meeting between Europeans and pineapples took place in November 1493, in a Carib village on the island of Guadaloupe. Pineapples proved extremely difficult to transport to Europe and very costly to cultivate. For a long time only royalty could actually afford to eat them. Then at the very end of the 19th century, production and transport costs plummeted and, unwittingly, transformed the psychology of pineapple-eating. It still tastes exactly the same. But now, the pineapple is one of the world’s least glamorous fruits.
The pineapple itself has not changed; only our attitude to it has. When we have to pay a lot for something nice, we appreciate it to the full. Yet as its price in the market falls, passion has a habit of fading away.
We’ve grown used to belittling things that don’t seem important to us right now – this is understandable but counterproductive. Just because an issue isn’t connected to life or death doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause genuine pain or isn’t worth thinking about. The problems of rich countries are for the most part complicated and serious and the ones everyone is going to face in about 300 years.
First world problems are central issues of philosophy and politics because everyday we are fighting to get richer so lets understand the problems that come with or undermine this struggle:
1. Not having enough – we don’t decide if we have enough by asking ourselves what we need or comparing our material possessions with those of parents or grandparents and we don’t compare ourselves to poor countries. We ask whether we have enough by looking at people around us in immediate vicinity and people we see on tv. Our happiness is comparative and relative by nature. Advertising shows there is more we could have and that others already do…enormous part of why rich countries can be unhappy. Wealth matters to happiness but only up to a point
What are some of the things wrong with mainstream media?
1. The media excites us unnecessarily. Tantalizing headlines hook us in to gain money from advertisers or governments. We look to the media to see what matters but it really cares about what excites us. Whats most important sometimes is exciting too. Attracted most to power, fame, disaster and sex yet bored about schools, developing world problems and money supply. Similar to weakness for sugar, fat and salt. Media exploits this.