Friday, April 24, 2009

The End Result

How much should one obsess over something - when the end result is the same?

There are two irritants which this feeble mind is trying to resolve.

One involves replacing an old computer and the second, replacing an old car. Both have put in honorable service, 8 years for the former and over 10 for the latter. As I attempt to replace these with the general economic woes in the background, I attempt to find a rationale for my choice. Should I buy a desktop or a laptop? Should it be low end or high end? Similarly for the car, should it be a reliable people carrier or a more luxurious vehicle? Should I go hybrid?

At the end of the day however, I look at what I do with these purchases. Chances are any long and exotic drives are unlikely. I will just travel to work and usual activities. With the computer, it will be browsing, preparing some documents or spreadsheets and an occasional (very occasional) game.

So my decision will gravitate towards the lower end or mid range product which I will inevitably buy and then regret I did not spend more. I have gone through this cycle enough times that I am comfortable with buyer's remorse and can deal with it.

One of the few game I do play is Sim City. My family doesn't understand my fascination with this slow moving game. I sometimes equate it to a sense of expectation that may or not fructify. For instance I have watched and observed people watching aimless videos. An example is a video shot from a travelling car.

We are so conditioned especially from watching TV to expect something that we will mindlessly watch an empty road rushing by for varying lengths of time until realization kicks into our brain that nothing is actually going to happen and we get bored. I am not saying that Sim City is like that but there is a similar hypnotic quality in a slower rate of speed in it as opposed to the faster more reactionary video games.

How long we watch boring things without getting bored is also a manifestation of how focused we are with an activity. The less concentration we have the more our mind interests itself with background thoughts letting the foreground banality to progress for longer than it should have.

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