Author Topic: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!  (Read 4546 times)

Khaetra

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We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« on: August 16, 2018, 08:20:55 AM »

FIRE@50

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 08:30:13 AM »
I don't like the article most of the examples are terrible.

Books - Do they realize that libraries still exist?
Cars - No one gave me a car when I was a teenager.
iPhone - You don't have to update the software just because Apple makes an update
MS Word - See iPhone
etc etc

Khaetra

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 08:49:01 AM »
I don't like the article most of the examples are terrible.

Books - Do they realize that libraries still exist?
Cars - No one gave me a car when I was a teenager.
iPhone - You don't have to update the software just because Apple makes an update
MS Word - See iPhone
etc etc

True to all you said.  I shared it because I felt it was a bit funny and unmustashian, as if the world is going to collapse because you didn't buy the #1 bestseller in paper form this week.  How dare you! /S

I did agree with a few of the commenters about us (collective us) having too much stuff and how much of a pain it is to go through years/decades of it all.  I just went through pictures and tossed 99% of them because I have no idea who any of the people in them were.

FIRE@50

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 08:53:47 AM »
I didn't mean for my reply to come across as anything negative towards you about posting the article on this forum. I'm always interested in reading articles that someone finds interesting. In other words, thanks for posting this!

I'm personally attempting to declutter our house in anticipation of moving within the next few years. We own too much stuff.

Khaetra

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 09:06:55 AM »
I didn't take it that way at all, so no worries :).

Good luck with the decluttering.  The less you have to move to a new place, the easier (and cheaper!) it is.

dcheesi

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 09:19:18 AM »
I don't think the article is talking about increasing consumption at all. If anything, it's decrying the types of arrangements that lock users into cycles of periodic spending.

MilesTeg

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 10:14:40 AM »
The article discusses (not so well) a very real problem. It's not advocating that people consume more, it's saying we're wasting money by renting instead of owning, for perceived benefits that don't really exist.

The ongoing destruction of private ownership of things (not just media) is an insidious problem. Companies in all sectors are aiming to get away from discrete sales and move toward eternal rental. And the ongoing abject idiocy of things like HOAs for discrete structures (give other people the real ownership of your home, what could possibly go wrong!) is only increasing as time goes by. In the tech world it is the most blatant, but it exists everywhere.

Want to buy a tractor from John Deer, et al? You can't, you can only rent it. And if you try to fix it yourself, you'll get in legal trouble. Cars are headed this way too.

See the legal battles going on to force Apple to not brick your $1000 phone if you dare to have someone service it except their overpriced/throw it away and replace it "repair" shops.

As for the MMM connection: What's less frugal, buying a movie/book/song once or renting it forever? Buying a pieces of machinery and learning to keep it maintained yourself, or renting that machine forever?

BTDretire

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 10:52:09 AM »
The article discusses (not so well) a very real problem. It's not advocating that people consume more, it's saying we're wasting money by renting instead of owning, for perceived benefits that don't really exist.

See the legal battles going on to force Apple to not brick your $1000 phone if you dare to have someone service it except their overpriced/throw it away and replace it "repair" shops.

This is an Apple device repair technician discussing how Apple screws their customers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNl2q6YZXlA

 If you want to see the same guy do a quality repair, look here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyKp7fiXkws

mm1970

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 02:15:31 PM »
The article discusses (not so well) a very real problem. It's not advocating that people consume more, it's saying we're wasting money by renting instead of owning, for perceived benefits that don't really exist.

The ongoing destruction of private ownership of things (not just media) is an insidious problem. Companies in all sectors are aiming to get away from discrete sales and move toward eternal rental. And the ongoing abject idiocy of things like HOAs for discrete structures (give other people the real ownership of your home, what could possibly go wrong!) is only increasing as time goes by. In the tech world it is the most blatant, but it exists everywhere.

Want to buy a tractor from John Deer, et al? You can't, you can only rent it. And if you try to fix it yourself, you'll get in legal trouble. Cars are headed this way too.

See the legal battles going on to force Apple to not brick your $1000 phone if you dare to have someone service it except their overpriced/throw it away and replace it "repair" shops.

As for the MMM connection: What's less frugal, buying a movie/book/song once or renting it forever? Buying a pieces of machinery and learning to keep it maintained yourself, or renting that machine forever?
1. Gosh I learned in college that many companies making consumer electronics to heavy equipment were aiming for both planned obsolesence (sp) and long term maintenance contracts to make their money.

2. MMM connection - it depends.
- how often are you going to read that book or listen to that song or see that movie?  Renting once is cheaper than owning, in many cases
- how often are you going to use that piece of machinery?  It's cheaper for me to rent a carpet shampooer than it is to own one, for example.  It's cheaper for me to rent a pickup when I need to move something, than it is to own one.

Tass

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 04:04:54 PM »
The article seems especially targeted at (and relevant to) digital products. Microsoft Office will soon switch to a subscription model, where you cannot purchase a copy of their software that will gradually become outdated - instead you have to pay them monthly for the right to use their regularly-updated software. It's genius salesmanship, but pretty inconvenient for those of us who would generally skip a few versions in between upgrades.

That's just one example. YNAB has also switched to a subscription model. It's only getting more common.

Khaetra

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2018, 05:16:50 AM »
2. MMM connection - it depends.
- how often are you going to read that book or listen to that song or see that movie?  Renting once is cheaper than owning, in many cases
- how often are you going to use that piece of machinery?  It's cheaper for me to rent a carpet shampooer than it is to own one, for example.  It's cheaper for me to rent a pickup when I need to move something, than it is to own one.

I was going to say this too.  Renting things can be very mustachian, especially if it's a one-time or once/twice a year thing.  I never rewatch movies so why should I own them on disc?  Same thing can be said for 99% of the books I read.  Plus then you need a place to store them all. 

The carpet shampooer is a really good example of where renting wins out over owning.  Unless you shampoo your carpets weekly it doesn't pay to own something like that.  The same goes for quite a few other specialty items.  Much cheaper to rent than to own over the long term.

Just Joe

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 09:06:50 AM »
MS Office: time to decide whether a person really NEED MS Office.

Word Perfect is still a thing that can be bought for about $58 - all updated for 2018 (X8). Still really nice software.

There are dozen or more mature free office suites in the open-source universe that will enable a person to do all the office work they need for (eternally) free.

The average person might have to learn a few new software details but honestly switching office software can be like switching email programs or browsers b/c the average user doesn't need "all the software" (advanced features).

Heck, switch to free (Mint) Linux and ditch the OS cost as well.

The reason that companies like Apple and Microsoft have monopolies in their markets is because we keep feeding them our money.

Buy an "other" brand phone, run an "other" brand OS and office suite, and avoid the perpetual costs associated with the brand royals.

Tass

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 09:13:25 AM »
I have Mint, an Android, and I get MS office for free through my school. For that matter, OpenOffice is free, so $58 is still unnecessary. I have those bases covered, I just needed an example. I don't like the direction these flagship products are steering their industries. Avoiding subscription models will get more difficult the more widely they catch on.


Dabnasty

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2018, 09:26:08 AM »
Examples of this that really bother me are those where you pay a regular fee AND buy things to own. Like regular scheduled delivery of clothes that someone else picked out for you. Or regular deliveries of food items, almost like a gift basket you buy yourself. The crazy thing to me is that when I first started seeing these businesses I figured they would sell at reduced prices. After all, they have their customers locked in and they can select products based on availability, this should increase efficiency and reduce overhead vs. a retail outlet, right? But no, prices for these services are outrageous. But as long as it's just a monthly cost, it doesn't look so bad. Much the same as the mentality that allows people to buy cars they can't afford because they only see the monthly payment.

Just Joe

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2018, 09:38:34 AM »
That's what surprised me. Articles telling us how cheap life without a car would be. Just summon Lyft or Uber. Then the realization that "cheap" was defined by NYC or LA standards.

From my little piece of the universe a quick trip across town for $40-$50 isn't cheap considering the local alternatives. I haven't seen many cheap subscription services yet.

Scortius

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2018, 10:12:02 AM »
For those who haven't looked in a while, modern Linux distributions are easy to set up and use. They'll come with OpenOffice which certainly lacks the polish of Office, but will let you write a fine business document. I would also recommend learning the basics of LaTex, but I realize that may be over the top for most people.

OtherJen

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2018, 12:00:03 PM »
MS Office: time to decide whether a person really NEED MS Office.

Word Perfect is still a thing that can be bought for about $58 - all updated for 2018 (X8). Still really nice software.

There are dozen or more mature free office suites in the open-source universe that will enable a person to do all the office work they need for (eternally) free.

The average person might have to learn a few new software details but honestly switching office software can be like switching email programs or browsers b/c the average user doesn't need "all the software" (advanced features).

Heck, switch to free (Mint) Linux and ditch the OS cost as well.

The reason that companies like Apple and Microsoft have monopolies in their markets is because we keep feeding them our money.

Buy an "other" brand phone, run an "other" brand OS and office suite, and avoid the perpetual costs associated with the brand royals.

This. If my clients didnít require MS Office, I would use one of the free programs. They work really well.

wilderness

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2018, 06:51:20 PM »
Just like with cars, it's the people who compulsively upgrade their phones and computers every year or two who hurt themselves the most.

iPhones from 2013 still get the upcoming iOS 12, and my 2011 Macbook Air still runs perfectly fine and is supported by the latest macOS. When it comes to Apple products, the best value is always buying last year's model refurbished or gently used, because even those have a good 5 years of life left in them.

Just Joe

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2018, 08:49:33 AM »
OpenOffice "forked" at one point into OpenOffice and LibreOffice. My impression is that OpenOffice development slowed while LibreOffice marched on. Be sure to test drive both and see what you like better.

In the Windows universe I am a big fan of "portable apps" which allow a person to set up software on a memory stick/thumb drive/external hard drive. Say you visit a friends' house or go out of town to see Grandma and still want your favorite software. Plug in your device to their computer and portable apps allow you to use their computer, their Windows, and not install anything to their computer. Also leaves no software debris behind. That means your bookmarks, doc folder, media players, picture editors, etc go with you. At work - it means you can have your software without changing your employer's computer. Careful with the rules however. A friend uses the portable browser for personal stuff each day so they have their passwords and bookmarks rather than the installed browser which they use only for work stuff. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PortableApps.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_office_suites

I'm a (Mint) Linux guy and prefer multi-platform software when possible. I don't like how certain brands seem to divide up the OS universe intentionally or not.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2018, 09:13:55 AM »
Do you all think the migration to subscriptions is a result of things simply reaching the point of "good enough"?  TBH, for the average user, MS Office hasn't added any particularly valuable features in twenty years.  PCs peaked IMO with Windows 7.  Smartphones haven't made any significant leaps in 4-5 years.  The same applies to all sorts of professional software as well--anything Adobe (Photoshop, Premier, etc) or Autodesk (all types and manner of CAD).  I'd argue that the auto industry is similar in a lot of ways--I drive a 23-year-old car, and the only modern thing I wish it had is an AUX jack or bluetooth (which I could do for $20, but I'm too cheap).  In general, it just seems like most non-consumable purchases have reached the point where people no longer feel the need to upgrade nearly as often, so companies see a threat to their income.

Now, I'll grant that subscriptions to streaming services might be an exception--you get access to a lot more content per dollar than you could with renting (but not cheaper than borrowing it from the library!).  Whether that's a valuable use of your time (a separate, very limited commodity) is a whole other question :)

NoVa

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2018, 01:19:27 PM »
Do you all think the migration to subscriptions is a result of things simply reaching the point of "good enough"?  TBH, for the average user, MS Office hasn't added any particularly valuable features in twenty years.  PCs peaked IMO with Windows 7.  Smartphones haven't made any significant leaps in 4-5 years.  The same applies to all sorts of professional software as well--anything Adobe (Photoshop, Premier, etc) or Autodesk (all types and manner of CAD).  I'd argue that the auto industry is similar in a lot of ways--I drive a 23-year-old car, and the only modern thing I wish it had is an AUX jack or bluetooth (which I could do for $20, but I'm too cheap).  In general, it just seems like most non-consumable purchases have reached the point where people no longer feel the need to upgrade nearly as often, so companies see a threat to their income.

Now, I'll grant that subscriptions to streaming services might be an exception--you get access to a lot more content per dollar than you could with renting (but not cheaper than borrowing it from the library!).  Whether that's a valuable use of your time (a separate, very limited commodity) is a whole other question :)

In the case of software I think it's a money grab, pure and simple. You own nothing, pay $XX per month (a small monthly fee, hardly noticeable!), a steady revenue stream. Adobe pulled it off, now the other software manufacturers are jealous.

(Edit) Yes, in many cases things are "good enough" for the vast majority of users.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 01:38:24 PM by NoVa »

markbike528CBX

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2018, 03:06:16 PM »
Yup,     We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all....

I'm still running a 2004 powermac G5 1.8GHz dual.  3monitors, runs fine.
NO Micro$oft code anywhere  to the best of my knowledge.

I do have my sights set on a Mac Pro2013, when they drop in price. 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 08:15:50 AM by markbike528CBX »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2018, 08:06:19 PM »
Yup,     We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all....

I'm still running a 2004 pwermac G5 1.8GHz dual.  3monitors, runs fine.
NO Micro$oft code anywhere  to the best of my knowledge.

I do have my sights set on a Mac Pro2013, when they drop in price.
Microsoft may want your subscription (and all that sweet revenue from your personal information).  Apple just reams you up front :P

PDXTabs

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2018, 11:35:00 PM »
Renting your software (or hardware) makes sense when the total cost of ownership is less than buying it (or building it yourself). For lots of businesses this is true. It's also true if you are trying to bootstrap a business and don't have the capital to buy the hardware/software, but you do have enough money to rent it long enough to bring in more money.

With that said, my laptop runs Ubuntu Mate and I really hate the direction that the smart phone market has gone where end users have little control over what code is running on the hardware that they purchased. Hell, my router runs OPNsense.

TomTX

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2018, 12:56:45 PM »
Do you all think the migration to subscriptions is a result of things simply reaching the point of "good enough"?  TBH, for the average user, MS Office hasn't added any particularly valuable features in twenty years

And Word Perfect was far better at the time. Haven't used it since, as my employer is MS only and I use a free office suite at home.

markbike528CBX

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2018, 03:10:52 PM »
Yup,     We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all....

I'm still running a 2004 pwermac G5 1.8GHz dual.  3monitors, runs fine.
NO Micro$oft code anywhere  to the best of my knowledge.

I do have my sights set on a Mac Pro2013, when they drop in price.
Microsoft may want your subscription (and all that sweet revenue from your personal information).  Apple just reams you up front :P

I'm using LibreOfficeDev, a port of LibreOffice for PowerPC G5.
Works Ok.

RetiredAt63

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2018, 06:51:11 PM »
Do you all think the migration to subscriptions is a result of things simply reaching the point of "good enough"?  TBH, for the average user, MS Office hasn't added any particularly valuable features in twenty years

And Word Perfect was far better at the time. Haven't used it since, as my employer is MS only and I use a free office suite at home.

I loved "reveal codes"  Basically HTML, I gather.  So easy to find formatting problems.

jinga nation

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2018, 05:47:56 AM »
My employer doesn't use MS Office products (3 yo Cloud-focused company). We use G-Suite and we're OS-agnostic (but Linux/OSX leaning). The only time we use MS Office products is when we have to go onsite to the customer facility, thus we use the customers' platform (Windows 7/10 + and all that comes with it). We tend to rent a lot of productivity and collaboration tools (per user, per month) as employees transition in and out of the company.

BookLoverL

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2018, 09:18:11 AM »
I'm using LibreOffice on my new-to-me-last-winter second-hand laptop, because it didn't come with MS Office and I didn't want to pay. The only annoying thing I have found is that LibreOffice Draw cannot save in Publisher format, and multiple leaflets used in my dad's business which I do some work for are saved in Publisher format only, so I've been having to gradually transfer them over to the open format and readjust all the formatting.

Just Joe

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Re: We're Not Buying Enough Stuff, Y'all!
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2018, 07:25:15 AM »
Look around, there MIGHT be a plugin for that. LibreCAD for example (different project, similar name) has a few plugins that expands its capabilities including DWG support.