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I think we're in danger of getting into either-or thinking here, and it's not like that at all.

Of course you should be introspective to understand yourself better, but at some point life is about being alive. It is both impossible and fruitless to spend all your time in analysis. We call this "analysis paralysis" in the computer world. There are a lot of reasons why this is bad -- the one that comes to mind first is the idea that it's really possible to ever completely understand yourself, that somehow you could sit outside your own head and understand everything that's going on. At some point you just accept that yes, the 100-dollar bottle of wine isn't as good, but yes, it's also really cool to enjoy the fallacy that it'll be a better wine.

At the end of the day, the question about whether the folks charging $100 for the wine have are exploiting folks or not is measured in two ways: as an individual, are they happy making the trade? As a society, is this something that we would be happy for everybody doing?

Farmville passes the first test but not the second. The expensive wine works for both tests.




You definitely have to make a case that the expensive wine passes the second test.

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This is getting quite off-topic, but I agree; I think passing the second test means that there are big industries and a great deal of labor devoted to trying to brand and distinguish slightly different wines, which strikes me as negative.

But very few activities would pass a "what if everyone in the world did this" test :-)

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