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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What would Epicurus buy at Target?

Epicurus was a Greek philospoher who lived between 341 and 270 B.C. He wrote a lot about religion and society, and wrote a lot about pleasure. However, the pleasure he wrote about was not hedonistic, but instead was focused on the superiority of intellectual pleasures over bodily pleasures. Interestingly enough, he also denied that the gods had supernatural powers that allowed them to interfere with humanity or nature. (I believe this, too.) But most people know about him, or have at least hard his name, from the word epicurian, which means the pursuit of good food and wine and luxurious living.

But what I want to know is, what would Epicurus think of todays society and our buying habits, and all the crap that we buy, and what would Epicurus buy himself?

As an example, recently I had to replace a hose reel for a new 150 foot hose that I bought. I first decided to go with the $35 plastic job from menards, but found that not only did it not hold 150 feet of hose easily, but it was really difficult to get the hose on it, the short hose that joins it to the tap was pointed down on the reel, so it immediately kinked when connected to a tap that was above it (as the hose was very short) and in general it sucked really bad. So I went back and threw down $75 for an all-metal hose reel that came with it's own tires and a heavy duty crank. Sandy uses it every says and she thinks it's awesome. And yesterday going home I saw that same model on the back of a Sargents's gardening pickup, so I know that I made a decent choice.