A utilitarian’s apology

A couple of years ago, my HTC Explorer’s screen died. I bought a Micromax A50. This triggered a series of reactions prompting this post.

I have many defects. Like most men, I can’t tell colours apart – like the difference between pink and purple – and am constantly corrected by my six-year-old. I can’t hear two people at the same time – or even in-between each other. I can’t find things outside of my narrow field of vision. I can’t recognise faces, and need at least three one-on-one interactions before I place people. (If you ask me “Do you recognise me?” and I say “Yes, of course!”, I’m usually lying.) I can’t place voices on the phone. My memory is terrible – my wife’s learnt to make me write errands on my laptop. I cannot identify cars – in fact, I couldn’t drive until recently.

I also lack a fashion sense, despite being a keen student of design. I can understand rules of thumb, like how large line heights should be, or why high saturation colours are jarring. I can even give passable judgement on the quality of clothing.

The trouble is, I don’t see much value in it. I’m a utilitarian.

This post is an apology from all utilitarians like me. We’re sorry – we just don’t see the the point of a Mont Blanc pen or a Cartier watch. Our Bic pens and digital watches work just as well. We’re not saying you shouldn’t buy them. It’s just that we don’t understand why you would.

This is not an argument against expensive items. I bought the iPod and loved it. Same with the iPhone 4. I have two iPads. I’m fairly picky about the earphones I buy. The thing is, the reason I buy these is because there’s a value that matches the price. Where I don’t see the value, that’s just throwing money away.

So that’s why I travel in buses or autos. I can work on my laptop while someone else drives. That’s why I walk or climb stairs. I get to lose weight without wasting time at a gym. That’s why I don’t wear a watch and don’t subscribe to newspapers or TV.

For my non-utilitarian friends out there, this is from us utilitarians. Please forgive us. We don’t see the value.

  1. Somnath Manna says:

    +++1
    VFM = Utilitarian and am happy being that.
    Instead of BIC its Reynolds pen, MicroMax vs Galaxy Y for me though I subscribe to newspaper and DTH (otherwise there will be revolt at home :D)

  2. […] Anand on other hand is the calmest speaker I have ever seen. He brings out data driven stories which highlight issues, evoke emotions like surprise, laughter. Wish One day I can bring that finish to my delivery. […]

  3. Shiva says:

    What is the need to apologise?
    Or am I missing the sarcasm? 🙂