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The Forum > Article Comments > Are we getting the best? > Comments

Are we getting the best? : Comments

By Peter Tapsell, published 10/10/2008

The modern media and internet are constantly bombarding us with conflicting views about what we should be doing and how we should be doing it.

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You are spot on, Peter. I think there is also a problem with the number of 'experts' who are now holding forth telling us how we should be performing in all sorts of areas if we are to be 'responsible' adults. It is causing great confusion and considerable harm, I think. There is evidence that many young parents today are confused about what they should be feeding their children and that kids are being raised in overly sterile environments as their parents try to protect them from the germs and risk they need to develop physical and mental resilience, but are put forward by some experts as being 'harmful'.

Common sense and moderation have generally stood the test of time.
Posted by Ian D, Friday, 10 October 2008 9:33:12 AM
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In my weekly trips to the shop I donít see aisles clogged with bemused customers agonising over e-numbers or countries of origin. Sufficient information is provided for those who care about these things to make informed choices; the rest of us get on with our lives.

All decent superannuation funds provide advice on the risks and benefits of different investment strategies and how to choose one that suits your age, retirement plans and degree of risk aversion. Self-managed super is an option for those who want it, but not necessary for those who donít.

When I buy a new washing machine, there are certain criteria it must fulfil Ė energy-efficient, front-loader, low-spin cycle. In these days of the internet, choosing which one to buy and where takes less than an hour. And if I donít get the absolute best, so what - if it meets my needs at the right price?

Likewise, choosing not to choose is a rational option we all take. I donít think itís worth my while taking the time to find out if my phone bill could be a few dollars less each month, so I only review that option every couple of years or so, even though I might not have the best possible plam.

Do you really think weíd be better off without these choices? Back in the days when only managers and professionals had superannuation? When culinary options were limited to meat-and-two-veg, laundry options to a steaming Maytag and we couldnít decide whether or not to consume e-numbers because manufacturers didnít provide that information?
Posted by Rhian, Friday, 10 October 2008 2:50:19 PM
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Pete Tapsell, Reply your's -
Washing machines don't particularly count now.
Either employ someone to wash for you or wear your clothes 'til they rot off your body.
Amounts to about the same as far as numbercrunchers stocking retail clothes shops care.
Might be different for you though, if you like, Hubba Hubba, getting up close to your friends.

Regardez Moi Bucko!
I do address above, the first three paragraphs of your tome. Did my damned best to work out where you come from. Still not sure.

Addressing y'r other 12 follow, condensed here.

Insurance, finance, commitments, environment? Media ? - lack trust with professionals? guilty about not having the best - makes inferior! -
Whooo!

Time to capture yours -
"And yet, despite this, we are still corralled into feeling obliged to have significant knowledge of these areas. This all takes time. And so much time can be spent on these things that we fail to find enough time for ourselves."

Then you end with -
"And yet, despite this, we are still corralled into feeling obliged to have significant knowledge of these areas. This all takes time. And so much time can be spent on these things that we fail to find enough time for ourselves."

I was very inclined to abuse the Bejeesus out of you.

Believe me Sonny Jim. That would be so very easy.
Then I realised you were saying things, from a different angle, about things that affect us all from your own very centred view.
That is when I realised you were very alone yourself, and writing, asking for discourse.

Putting it bluntly, I may have incorrectly interpreted your's as the language of greed.

So - Pete Tapsell, in reply, prove othewise
Posted by A NON FARMER, Saturday, 11 October 2008 12:18:07 AM
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Do we not have a mind of our own (YES, we are all individuals!).

I am alarmed at the number of people I know who purchase x or do y "because everyone says it is the best" - when I ask weho "everyone" is they go vague and change the subject.

As a confirmed pig headed consumer, I buy what I want to - not what they (ad infinitum) want me to.

Phone calls from salesmen (or face to face contact with them) usually result in them becoming angry with me for saying silly things like - Soooooooooo - if I spend $2000, I save $100. Aren't I spending $1900.00 I don't really want to?

Media - they are paid to advertise and be good at it.

Exercise your own free will.

Most people I know ask me to go shopping with them as they are often bamboozled by the salesmen <<they say "I only wanted a battery and I walke dout with ten times that amount - and I don't know why!>>.

When you buy something you didn't want to buy, it's your fault.
Posted by 27bstroke6, Saturday, 11 October 2008 4:45:56 PM
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It is not that difficult as adults to make choices and not to be bamboozled by all of our options, the fine print, advice from 'experts' and the keeping up with the Jones's syndrome.

We can choose not to be part of all that by making simple choices based (as Ian D) said above on commonsense and moderation and what works for your family may be different to others.

When I shop I choose (when I can) to buy organic, non-animal tested, non GM, environmentally friendly, Australian owned and grown (less and less these days) and preferably from local growers. This might sound nightmarish to some. It is not a perfect world and making these personal shopping choices is not always possible, but it does not cause me any grief to make the extra effort to source these products and to stick with them. Equally if I end up going to Woolies and buying fruit I won't lie awake at night from guilt.

It comes down to making pragmatic choices that fit with your own set of values and also by not taking it all too seriously. Life is to be enjoyed and spent with those closest to you, mistakes will be made, some of our choices will be wrong, we learn, we move on.
Posted by pelican, Sunday, 12 October 2008 10:14:40 AM
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"When a person becomes an adult, they start having to take responsibility for their lives."

Good start - and you're clearly not talking about people in advertising. First, lots of products are good. If you buy one that's crap, don't buy it again. Tell people it's crap. That's the market in action.

Someone said 'exercise free will' - the wisdom of Solomon - whoever said that.

Variety and diversity can be confounding. Try work out the difference between two mobile phone plans which have the same price! Ask simple questions and if they can't give simple answers, move on.

Liked the article. So much goes in to why we pick brand X over brand Y. Strangely, or naturally, we don't go in to a spin when we are confronted with a multitude of products or choices. A bit like the internet. We graze. Actually, there's a problem there but that's another story.
Posted by Cheryl, Sunday, 12 October 2008 2:58:07 PM
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