Last weekend I had to shop my friend’s birthday. I’m really bad at it
because I can never pick out the right gift for the right person, so
they end up just throwing away my gifts. So this time I decided to be
more practical and get her something useful. I thought about it and
thought about it, and finally I ended up at Giant and bought her a bag
of walnuts, some eggplants and a large bottle of water. I mean, what
could be more practical than food?
But when she opened my gifts at the party, she looked confused for a
moment, ion, and hopefully this note can inform you a thing or two
about how to consume wisely to obtain status and prestige and not make
the same mistake as I did.
The first thing you should know is that a statues symbol usually have
nothing to do with how useful or how beautiful something is. But it has
everything to do with how wasteful, rare, and useless it is, and if you
are after status and prestige, you would need to consume and waste
useless and pointless things conspicuously.
A piece of painting is really nothing but different color pigments
lying on top, clashing against, combined with each other on a canvas in
various variations and formats. It is only an item of high value when
“experts” in the art world or even the artist himself say it is. A
piece of gold is simply an inorganic rock with the chemistry symbol of
Au. It is an item of high value because it’s rare and because people
say it is.
The more useless and pointless something is, the more valuable it is,
and the more we want it. Therefore, the more useless things we consume
conspicuously, the more we are admired and the more status we have.
When I say something is useless, I am talking about things that don’t
serve our biological needs of survival and reproduction. I am talking
about things that we can very well live without, but for one reason or
another, we invest in them, value them, work for them, and do them.
Here are some useless things that we do and consume on a daily
basis…things you should be spending about 95 percent of your time on.
Talking on the telephone.
Singing and dancing.
Drinking beer and smoking cigarettes .
Going on the internet.
Listening to music.
Getting tattoos and piercing
Getting A marketable degree from an ivy league university.
Eating a 50 dollar steak.
A home theater.
Mp3 players and cellphones.
A piece of clothing too dedicate to wear.
200 dollar baseball cards or beanie babies.
Any household items or furniture that is too dedicated or too overly decorated to use.
What’s more mysterious to me is that the more biologically ineffective
something is, more prestigious and austere it is and the more people
value it. Now some of this biological ineffective stuff is way out of
your league, but if you have enough leisure time and talent, you should
invest as much time as you can on:
Art (another name for fine art is useless art).
Music (music could vanish and everything else in our life would remain unchanged).
Those are activities that are considered very noble and prestigious and
show signs of class and austerity, why? I don’t know it’s a mystery,
but they are completely useless and pointless! Art and music are
probably the last things we need for survival, which makes investing in
them one of the best ways to establish somebody’s status in society.
Since you can’t really see my bank account or my lands, I better put up
some wasteful decorations on my bath top (gold) and on my car (rims) so
you can see my wealth.
I mean, what better way to show off and proof my wealth than buying a bunch of useless stuff that I don’t even need?
Your body is actually very small, and it doesn’t really need all that
much to function. A few ounces of water, some fruits and breads,
underwear, blankets, and a comfortable enough environment where the
temperature isn’t too high or to low for your sperms to survive in your
testes, you are good to go.
But that kind of a life is flat out boring, and isn’t going to make you
happy unless you are still living in the caves a million years ago, or
if you are stranded on a deserted island with limited food sources and
shelters. Since all of our needs are already met, you have to be
creative and come up with new ways to maintain your happiness levels by
spending your money and invest your time on things that you want, but
don’t really need.
A Hummer and a Camry has identical functions; they both travel from
point A to point B. But if you want dignity, you should always go for
the Hummer. A Hummer is obviously too luxuries of a car to drive to
work, and it’s too bulky and clumsy and impossible to parallel park in
a city like Baltimore. A Lamborghini only sits two people and wastes 5
times as much gas as a Camry.
99 percent of you will choose a Lamborghini over a Camry. Why? Because
it is handicapped! A car like a Hummer or a Lamborghini is valuable
because it is completely hindering and unnecessary in a civilized
neighborhood or city. But it is wasteful, conspicuously, out of place,
which makes it totally noticeable.
When you purchase an expensive car or shoes or clothes or
anything, you should always strive for the best available model to
avoid looking like a punk.
For example, let’s say you want a BMW or a Benz. You should always go
for the 7 series or the S 600s, or don’t buy it at all. In fact, you
would probably look more dignified driving a Toyota Avalon than a 3
series or a C class. People who settle for cheaper models of
prestigious brand names are elite wannabes who end up looking more like
a bitch than anything else. If you really are as rich as you think you
are, you should be able to afford the best models and not have to
settle for the cheaper versions. So not only should you spend your
money on wasteful things, but invest it on the most expensive and
luxurious kinds of useless things you can find.
Keep in mind that eye-catching consumption and waste only works up to a
certain point. The more you spend, the less wealthy you’re going to be,
so there is a limit and you can’t go overboard.
However, you can continue to pay off other people’s respect and esteem
as long as you don’t reduce your wealth to the level of your opponents’
or sacrifice your earning power. For example, if I have 10 cars and my
neighbor only has 3, I can give away or blow up 5 cars and impress the
hell out of all the hot girls and moms and dads on my street, and still
have 2 more car than my neighbor.
Now if you think that I’m being illogical again, just take a look at
the animal kingdom, and you’ll see that this is exactly how nature
works for a very long time.
Darwin and biologists everywhere were perplexed by certain attributes
on animals that have nothing to do with their abilities to survive.
Peacocks’ elaborate tails is the ideal example of this. Why would
peacocks evolve a handicapped feature like a big and fancy tail that
hampers their movements and slows them down when they are running away
It turns out a feature like this evolved precisely because it is a
handicap. Only the fittest and the healthiest peacocks can afford the
biggest and the most striking tales to attract the opposite sex. Some
other examples are birds that sing, fruit flies that perform dances,
and a lion’s mane. Those attributes are useless when it comes to
survival, but they are completely useful as an advertisement to
attracting females and to earn respect of rivals.
Another cool thing about being an elite is that you have the power to set the standards for fashion.
Fashion – Emulate the people who are above and better than you. But if
you are at the top, find new ways to look different from the people
below you once they catch up.
Keep in mind that conspicuous consumption works when only the top class
can afford luxuries. When the class structure becomes loose, or
whatever rare and useless stuff that you are collecting becomes widely
available, people from the middle class are going to start imitating
you and owning the things you own, and soon enough, people from the
lower class are going to start emulating the middle class.
When everybody below you have what you have and is doing what you’re
doing, you’re no longer cool, and you’re no longer hip. This is a sign
that you need to make a leap to distinguish yourself from the lower
classes of society, when everybody else catches up to you again, you
abandon your old ways and get another look, and so on. This is the
trend which we call fashion.
I want to
Reconstruct my room and turn it into a prison cell.
Build a fake community college, fill it with mannequins and then set it on fire.
Construct a 3-inch deep diving pool.
Own a restaurant that’s only large enough to fit one person.
Build an underwear museum.