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How Would They Tell?

Robert Bidinotto wants me to boycott Starbucks. It's a worthy cause, I guess, but I've been boycotting Starbucks ever since they opened their first store. I've never purchased anything there for my own personal consumption, with the possible exception of a bottle of water once.

The simple reason is that they have never offered anything for sale in which I have an interest in consuming. It's nothing but various forms of coffee, which I don't drink, and high-glycemic carbs, which I tend to avoid, particularly since there is no protein on offer to go with them (in my limited experience--I suppose it's possible that that's changed). And I'm not that into the "coffee house" experience.

So I can't really help make a dent in reducing their sales, because it's not possible for me to purchase less from them than I already do. If everyone were like me, they wouldn't exist at all to denigrate the capitalism that has made them so successful. But maybe some of my pro-free-market readers can reduce their consumption.

It occurs to me, while I'm on the subject, to write about a topic on which I've often mused, but never posted--what the world would be like if everyone were like me. Well, obviously, it would be a lot more boring place. With no s3x, other than self congress, because there's no way that I would get it on with me.

Just off the top of my head, there would be no rap music. In fact, most popular music wouldn't be popular at all. No dance clubs. There would be college football, assuming that some of me were willing and able to play (not obvious, as my athletic ability is marginal), but probably not pro. There would be baseball (again, my skills permitting), but no hockey or basketball. Or boxing or wrestling, or martial arts. There would be Formula 1, but no NASCAR. Lots of hiking trails in the mountains. No one would live in south Florida.

No coffee houses, as noted above, or coffee production, period. Same thing with tea. No tree nuts would be grown or harvested, because I'm allergic. The Asian restaurants would be much better, as would Mexican ones (they'd all be Sonoran style). No wraps or vegetarian places.

It would also be a much messier place, because I'm kind of a slob.

On the up side, though, traffic would move much faster, and much more smoothly. And we'd all get on and off airplanes extremely expeditiously. And there would be no wars, both because (I know that this will surprise some of the trolls here) I'm not that into them, and I'm not sure what we'd fight about. Oh, and we'd have a sensible space program.

So, what would the world be like if it consisted of only you?


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Adam Greenwood wrote:

Pretty much the same. Huh. My world is probably more religious than your world. Also I think my world may have more Jane Austens and Wodehouses in the library. Also, not only would the space program be more sensible, it would also be a lot better funded, both governmentally and privately. But I suspect yours would be too.

Ken Anthony wrote:

what the world would be like if everyone were like me.

How much like? SF about clones often includes the idea that they are not just alike but telepathic too. I go the other way. Genetics can influence a person in significant ways. My grandmother met me at 16 and told me I walked and laughed like my father even though we had no contact since before my second birthday. However, even identical twins (clones) can be very different in likes, skills and personality and will make choices that cause major distinctions.

Also, I'd prefer if 'like me' would allow for women that were like me. Life without women (as insane as they are) would be.... less worth living.

Hmmm.... would an INTJ women be insane? Met one, she did show signs of paranoia. But then, they probably were out to get her?

In my case: also no coffee (although I like the aroma of ground coffee beans) Assume some of the like me's had power INJUSTICE would be rooted out and destroyed wherever found (my current bank and all of it's branches would have been vaporized the moment they made an erroneous charge against my account as they did last month. After four visits to correct cascading errors they've assured me it has been fixed but I wait to see what happens with my next direct deposit with unease.)

Accidents happen, but willful ignorance would be firmly dealt with. My mind would allow for different viewpoints, but all would require evedence of some kind. All spiritualistic beliefs would be viewed with extreme scepticism (as I hold my own beliefs) Institutional errors that can easily be fixed with a little systems analysis would dissappear.

All arguments would be winnable (unlike those with my wife which I must just assume I've lost before I begin.) All winable arguments would be provisional upon further evidence. My firmest conviction is that my firmest convictions were subject to modification by wisdom and time.

Wars, if any, would be short and decisive. More likely would be resolution by heated discussion that never gets to war.

Leland wrote:

One thing is certain, in a world with nothing but me... No one would by anonymous.

Bill White wrote:

Tracing through the links concerning Starbucks it would seem that Bidinotto is dismayed by a large corporate conglomerate lying to its customers. Which actually is rather leftist of him.

Moving up the link stream I find this quote:

"The explanation here is pretty clear: as part of its effort brand itself as a neighborhood coffee shop, Starbucks, whose logo is international sign language for overpriced and overrated coffee, wants to avoid being seen as a bastion of free markets and capitalism. The problem is that that is exactly what Starbucks is."

This is not unlike BP Petroleum marketing itself as a "green" energy company with its green and yellow logo and frequent ads based on solar energy investments and flowing clean water. Hey, let's boycott BP as well. ;-)

Walmart? They partnered up with Al Gore to fight global warming and even Glenn Reynolds has touted efficient light bulbs.

Heh! A traitor to the cause? Indeed. :-)

So tell me, why would a capitalist seek to boycott another capitalist merely because they figured out how to snow the lefties? Seems to me that would be a feature and not a bug.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Tracing through the links concerning Starbucks it would seem that Bidinotto is dismayed by a large corporate conglomerate lying to its customers. Which actually is rather leftist of him...

In what way?

...So tell me, why would a capitalist seek to boycott another capitalist merely because they figured out how to snow the lefties?

You seem to have a pretty warped view of capitalism, and capitalists. But then, that's no surprise, given that you're a Democrat.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Hmm if everybody were like me... modern society would take a step back to something akin to Victorian England as far as technology is concerned since that's about the level I could manage on "my own". It would be greeted by complete calm and slight indifference. In some ways it would be an incredibly random world and the randomness and oddness would quickly aggregate into some pretty outlandish stuff (to much general approval and praise).

It would also be a surprisingly quiet world for most of the time and everyone would enjoy the sonic bliss of that. No-one would tempt death by provoking a fight (if everyone were aware that they were all like me that is --interesting twist to the idea there, would they be?)

I really wouldn't want to live in a world where everybody were like me but if it were to happen I would try to suffer through it, partly out of pure spite (but if there were only "me's" I'm not sure I would succeed). Beyond that it really depends too much on whether everyone were precisely like me or just very much like me ^_^

P.S. And if they were just sort of like me then we would all be so quick to spot the differences we might as well be completely different.

Steve wrote:

NASCAR, NFL, MLB, NHRA, F-1, [in that order]

Classic rock, classical, big band / swing, jazz [mix em up classical is a choice]

Beef THEN veggies, hot dogs that snap, greasy fries, nuts [I'm not allergic] A&W with car hops, no others need apply

Better TV, more smart and educational, less of what we have, old movies, very few new movies, more good scifi, no hack em ups, NO remakes, no Hollywood leftists allowed ever.

No wars [all war like people will be 'beamed' to Mars to fish, cut bait or become bait] differences of opinion will be decided by thumb wrestling or horse shoes.

No huge cities, but all small cities will have NY style pizza and bagels.

The whole world will be consist of San Diego style weather, and geogarphy, except for one month of real snow type winter [Dec 15th to Jan 15th for a guaranteed White Christmas!] and one month of Miami style summer weather, [Jun 1st to Jul 1st, don't want to screw up the fireworks!] both extremes designed to remind us how good we've got it the other 10 months.

With damned few exceptions other than where noted above, the world shall be run according to the rules of RAH. Especially voting rights per Starship Troopers.

Yes there will be Federal Service. Somebody has to round up the trouble makers and beam them to Mars!

Rand Simberg wrote:

The whole world will be consist of San Diego style weather, and geogarphy, except for one month of real snow type winter [Dec 15th to Jan 15th for a guaranteed White Christmas!] and one month of Miami style summer weather, [Jun 1st to Jul 1st, don't want to screw up the fireworks!] both extremes designed to remind us how good we've got it the other 10 months.

It's not clear to me how having a world of Steves would affect the climate.

Steve wrote:

If Steves [me] ruled the planet, I would accept no other weather!! You ruled out nuts, I ruled in perfect weather. If I'm going to fantasize, I want to go whole hog.

Hmmm, add Memphis style BBQ to the list, remove NC BBQ from existence.

Rand Simberg wrote:

You ruled out nuts, I ruled in perfect weather.

One of these things is not like the other...

I think you're missing the point of the exercise. I'm not saying that I'm ruler of the planet, or (as would be required for weather mods) a god. I'm just saying that if the world consisted only of people like me, there are certain things that wouldn't exist, because there would be no demand for them (like tree nuts). That's simply the market. The weather would be completely indifferent to my desires. And yours, even if there were a billion of you.

Stephen Kohls wrote:

If there were only Steves, nature would be in perfect harmony and their would be no need for bad weather to punish all the non-Steves. ;)

Of course, the war between the 'ph' allies and the 'v' axis would be horrific. Damn v's.

Paul Milenkovic wrote:

I remember this one visit of me and Father to Alpine Austria, and we would be staying in these places, and we noticed they would put "American style" schlock-rock music on the sound system on account of their visitors with blue passports. The whole while I was thinking to myself, "Can't you play the yodeling music and Strauss waltzes like you do for the East German tourists (the thing about East Germans in Austria in summer is that the wealthy Westies are in Majorca or other trendier places -- for a German to vacation in Austria is like for someone from Illinois to spend their whole summer vacation in Wisconsin.)

I try to watch as much TV as I can overseas. German TV was a dubbed version of Star Trek IV ("Warp geschwindichkeit, Mr. Sulu!) along with some bad comedy sketches making fun of the British Royal Family. Italian TV was a dubbed version of Beverly Hills Cop. The humor of Eddy Murphy are all of those voice and characters he does, and he was doing his "raging queen" schtick to bluff his way into an exclusive club on the trail of the bad guys. The Italians gave us the word "gigolo", so you would think there would be an Italian version of doing an effeminite-male accent, but I didn't know enough Italian if the dubbing got that part right. Croatian TV had "The Three Tenors." I think you know where this is going.

Purgatory for me will be being neurologically "locked down", residing in a nursing home, having to listen to pop-rock-schlock music. Country music would make it Hell. The Bach Brandenburg Concertos, on the other hand, are the closest thing to the angel choirs in heaven.

cgage wrote:

Well, if everyone was like me, at least my weight would decrease to "average". That would be nice. Not very helpful, but nice.

ken anthony wrote:

Orion launch platforms would be launching privately owned battleships size RVs into high orbit (a dozen at a time) Everything would be privately owned (land anywhere in the solar system by settlement and development.)
If the government (a dozen people working really hard) wanted something they'd have to get the owners to donate. Eminate domain would be a felony.

The only tax is a 100% at death tax. If you don't give it away before you die, it goes to the government to provide services for all. Most services won't be provided by the government.

Anticompetative actions would be clearly defined and penalized.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Ken, like Steve's, your comment misses the point. This isn't about how you'd deliberately remake the world via laws, etc., if you had the power. It's about how market production of goods and services would change in response to your preferences.

ken anthony wrote:

Thank you for being explicit. My thought was your premise would have an impact on societal structure that was more pervasive than coffee being on or off the menu.

Steve wrote:

I was being completely foolish both times. I understood the premise, I just pushed out to my own premise and rules.

I'd never want to live in a world of just me's. If nothing else, it would be pretty sad given what a solitary person I am. About 50 or 100 of me would be both enough and way to much for the other 49 or 99.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on April 8, 2008 10:06 AM.

You Won't Be Seeing Me In This Building was the previous entry in this blog.

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