It’s Compulsion, Not Obsession →

January 07, 2015 |

Fantastic essay by Ben Brooks on the natural compulsion we as nerds feel to find and own the best:

And so I, and fellow nerds, find new macros, new apps, new tools, new systems. We have a never ending need to find the best, whether that is tools, or processes we want them both. We can’t settle until we’ve reached a point where we know we’ve reached peak zen because what we own, or how we do something, is subjective seen by us as the best.

I’m writing this on an iPad Air, but I know there is an iPad Air 2 and I know it is better. I want it, but cannot afford it. But it’s better and knowing that kills me a little inside, however at the same time I recognize that I have the best I can afford and it is only in that realization which I can take comfort and move on.

I’m not impervious to this feeling, and battle it every time I look at my 6-and-a-half-year-old iMac. It’s only a fraction of a second, but it happens. Every. Single. Time. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of effort to be able to distance yourself from the need to have the best, but I have found it’s entirely possible.

There’s also some measure of personal satisfaction in getting the most out of your beloved, albeit outdated tools. To squeeze the last bit of functionality out of them before eventually replacing them. I know I don’t have the best Mac right now, but that’s OK, because there was this one time, not that long ago, when I did. And I still remember what that felt like. Just as I know that one day, not that far from now, I will feel it again.

Because, let’s not kid ourselves, when my iMac finally kicks the bucket, I’m definitely getting the best Mac I can buy. It’s the circle of life, after all.